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2021 in numbers – the impact on hotel website traffic and revenue

27 June 2021


2021 against previous years

Looking at the first 6 months of the last few years, we’ve seen a huge surge in interest in hotels, hotel bookings, and staycations. In fact, the average number of users on our clients’ websites has never been higher. The graph above shows 2019 (a “normal year”), 2020, and 2021. We can see that, in terms of users, hotels have gone from a low starting point this year – in the midst of uncertainty and a brutal second wave of Covid-19 – to a high peak and are continuing to grow.

Contrast this against the below revenue graph and we can see where the gains still to be made are. Whilst 2019 had a somewhat similar user and revenue curve (max dissimilarity = 15.3) and 2020 revenue follows users almost exactly (max dissimilarity = 0.9), 2021’s revenue has failed to increase anywhere near the same rate as users (max dissimilarity = 39.1).

The considerably lower revenue growth this year is likely a reflection of a number of factors: an uncertainty around international travel, a fall in business travel, and a fall in the number of events taking place for people to visit. Through this shrinking market, we have seen more people fighting over pieces from a smaller pie which is where good marketing and websites can give you the advantage you need.

Rural vs City Hotels

Another area where we have seen a large difference between hotels is rural and city-based properties. At the start of this year (2021), the interest was much higher in rural areas than in cities, compared to a slightly higher interest in cities in early (pre-Covid) 2020 and a much more even balance in early 2019.

We have seen this get closer and closer throughout the year and both have reached good levels of interest now. The lower city interest is probably also a by-product of a lack of international and business travel as we are missing the bread and butter of city hotels. 

The PPC Effect

The final stat that I will look at is the difference between people’s interest and revenue after starting PPC advertising. This is focussing in particular on Google Ads but we have seen similar results from Facebook, just with a smaller sample size.

Our clients who have restarted ads in the first half of this year have seen a 211% increase in users and a 79% increase in revenue across the sites when compared to before they restarted the ads.

The reason behind these surges is partly to do with timing as the latter half of this year has been better, but each hotel grew much more considerably after it was live with ads. Taking revenue back from was a key element of why this was successful and we would recommend most of our clients to work on their new campaigns.

To summarise, we have found that whilst the interest in hotels has risen throughout 2021, the revenues have not kept pace with this compared to previous years. We have also seen that clients focussing on getting their brand out there, increasing awareness, and targeting users at a conversion stage are performing much better than those who are not.

If we can help you with a website, PPC campaign, or strategy – get in touch and we will see how we can work together.

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