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Hotel rates on the rise as demand for travel increases

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If you are planning to book the hotel stay that you have postponed since the start of the pandemic, you may want to book a room right away.

Nightly fares, although still somewhat lower than a year ago, are slowly rising to match or – in some popular destinations – exceed pre-pandemic prices, according to travel booking technology company Koddi.

Over the past 30 to 45 days, average hotel prices have risen dramatically and are only 5% lower than a year ago, says Deep Kohli, senior director of guest services at the based company. in Fort Worth, Texas. They were up to 11% cheaper a few weeks earlier.

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“We expect it to increase based on the increased demand we see for summer travel,” Kohli said, adding that Koddi sees airfares increasing along with hotel rates as demand is increasing. The week of April 11, hotel demand in the United States rose 13.7%, the second highest level this year. It had peaked in March for spring break travel.

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There is a correlation between vaccination deployment rates and interest in travel, according to Koddi.

“In the United States, we are seeing a sustained correlation between regions that have a comparatively high number of vaccinations per 100 people versus the resumption of travel intent and travel demand for those regions,” said a spokesperson for the company in a press release.

Accommodation in high-demand areas – near beaches and national parks, for example – is now above pre-Covid levels, Kohli noted, although major metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago are still registering depressed rates thanks to a slower recovery.

Indeed, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that the average daily rate at hotels in Vegas, as well as those in Laughlin and Mesquite, Nevada, for the month of March was $ 100.11. Although this is an increase of 2.1% compared to February, it is still down 25% compared to March 2019. The volume of visitors, meanwhile, is down 39.7% compared to March 2019, increased by 45.7% compared to a year earlier.

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General demand nationwide is expected to continue to rise as “a normal seasonal increase” occurs from May to August, Koddi said. The firm also found that bookings longer than 31 days are starting to exceed historical levels, the cancellation rate for those who book is declining, and travelers appear willing to spend more on accommodation.

In fact, hotel and resort rates are recovering even as the industry has experienced a migration from the Airbnb era to vacation rentals, which can often offer more privacy and fewer cleanliness concerns. and exposure to pathogens. Kohli said that while vacation rentals will remain popular, “hotels are coming back.” In fact, hotel occupancy rates near these popular beaches and national parks are at record levels, he added.

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“In general, budget hotels and long-stay hotels have weathered the pandemic better, but we are starting to see mid-size hotels recover and as confidence in travel increases with the relaxation of restrictions, the top of the range [hotel] and resort demand will improve, ”Kohli said.

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US accommodation of all types is in greater demand, and perhaps at higher prices, than it would be if most international markets were open.

Many normally popular foreign destinations have been off-limits to Americans for more than a year (Mexico was a notable exception), although the European Union said this week that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens may soon be able to visit the bloc of 27 nations.

But wider geographic access won’t have a huge effect on fares, Kohli said, noting that domestic travel accounted for 80% of demand before the pandemic.

“With global lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, all demand was only for domestic destinations, but at a considerably moderate level,” he said. “We continue to see changes as more and more international destinations open up, some of the domestic destinations to these newly opened international destinations or from one international region to another.”

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