Same-day Bookings Dominate Demand Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

With unprecedented market conditions, COVID-19 has spurred dramatic shifts in travel trends. Recent changes to user behavior include declining demand across major metropolitan areas, early signs of recovery in China, as well as notable shifts in demand across booking windows.

With recent updates to hoteliers’ cancellation policies and volatility due to travel bans and stay-at-home orders, extremely short booking windows dominate the remaining demand. In the chart below, we see that same-day stay searches now make up over half of the available volume in April. This comes as a result of the fall-off in searches for hotels 1-4 weeks in advance. Of the available demand in early April, the need for immediate last-minute stays now outweighs the need for any future-looking stays that might be deemed non-essential.

These findings are consistent with our previous insights around a change in demand by star rating. Essential travel along interstates has led to a softer decline for roadside properties (typically 1 or 2-star hotels), while demand for 3+ star rated properties has fallen significantly more.

We anticipate that this pivot to shorter booking windows (primarily same-day stays) will remain or even grow through April, as cancellation policies and stay-at-home orders remain in place.

It’s important to note that while demand has certainly decreased for longer booking windows, there’s still an opportunity to take advantage of future-looking trips. Users’ interest in longer booking windows (91+ days) has remained relatively flat in terms of search distribution. This could be due to the financial safeguards now available through hotels’ generous cancellation policies in the near-term as well as consumers’ ongoing uncertainty around when normalcy may return.

Koddi will continue to monitor user behavior when searching for available hotels and report on any new trends or developments in the market. You can continue to follow along for any new updates by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

Metasearch , Travel