How has Covid-19 Impacted hotels?
The short answer to this is a lot, the longer answer depends on the sort of hotel as to whether this is good or bad.
Just before lockdown we put together some statistics at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic (30 days to the 20th March) with 14 key varied hotels that we work with. To see whether we could take any guidance about how different segments of the market were performing.
Caution – The following article is full of statistics and should be approached with a full mug and an iron will.
When we looked at general sessions, or the size of the market, we found the following information:
Looking in March we saw that 7 hotels had grown from a year on year perspective (those that have grown have done so by an average of 24%) and 5 had fallen (by an average of -35%) there were also 2 new launches with no previous years data.
What we saw at this point was that properties that relied on international travel and events to fill their rooms had seen low levels of traffic, whilst the ones that had larger domestic markets were less harmed.
In the month since the lockdown on hospitality was lifted, we have seen a different picture.
Businesses who traditionally rely on tourism and business travel have seen a continued rough patch, but we have seen one segment, out of city hotels, thriving.
Only 4 of the same test segment have gone up against the year before and all of these are rural locations (growth across these averaging 105%) with the 7 who have fallen averaging at -47%. Interestingly one hotel has got identical session numbers to the year before (12850 vs 12850).
The same story shows when we move the comparison date to the start of lockdown. We see one more property who have had growing numbers (which is based in Brighton) and saw the same level of falling across the city hotels that lost users (-45%).
When we look at engagement, we will be looking at average session duration. Here there was a much more varied response, we also didn’t see any of the large 150-200% swings we saw in sessions. The average of sites where engagement grew was 27% up (8 sites) and the ones where it fell was -25% (6 Sites).
At a glance, this looks like the average time on site should have increased overall as more sites are more up than the reverse. However, when we look a bit deeper we see that the average time of sites in March that rose since lockdown was 100 seconds vs the average of those that fell at 164 seconds (which evens both at 126 and 123 respectively).
This means that the sites that were previously less engaged are attracting more engaged visitors and people who used to have good engagement are seeing lower numbers. A thought on this would be that this could be to do with international users avoiding travel.
Overall the data we have looked at shows that the appetite for hotels and travel is there but people are reluctant to go to cities. We have seen a number of more rural/suburban properties launching successful advertising campaigns to try and capitalise on this and we would love to help if you have any questions about this!