Four Hotel Booking Trends From Labor Day Weekend

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SAN FRANCISCO—The latest edition of Duetto’s Pulse Report, which tracked key hotel business metrics from August 24-September 6, shows significant increases in performance for the hotel markets of North America, boosted by the Labor Day holiday weekend. This is the first true boost to hotel performance since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and is a breath of fresh air for what have been highly restricted markets, which will continue to wax and wane in the months ahead.

“People’s determination to travel is resilient. Our data shows us, from hotels across the nation, people are willing to spend longer hours in the car than ever before to arrive at a destination of leisure,” said David Woolenberg, CEO of Duetto. “One surprise over the holiday weekend was an increase in travel across the great state of Tennessee. While bookings in Nashville were down, people were enjoying the rest of the state. It’s a great example of people opting for more remote locations, as opposed to urban.”

Below are four overall trends in North American hotel bookings over Labor Day compared with the prior 14 weeks.

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Drive-to Markets See Increased Demand

Traditional drive-to markets saw positive increases in new bookings as well as an increase in demand, which indicates people’s drive radius has increased in search of leisure. For example, Colorado saw a 432 percent increase; Tennessee (if you take out Nashville) a 439 percent increase; Louisiana a 590 percent increase; Nevada a 272 percent increase; California increased 283 percent; and Florida increased 189 percent.

Remote and Rural Destinations

Remote and rural locations fared well over the Labor Day weekend, some with bookings rivaling or surpassing 2019. AutoCamp, a Duetto customer that specializes in luxury Airstream experiences, saw bookings up 37 percent from Labor Day 2019 at its Yosemite property. “We’re so grateful to provide an option for those looking to get away in these unprecedented times,” said Vinny Cuneo, head of sales and revenue of AutoCamp. “Each of our Airstream Suites is perfectly set up for self-isolation complete with custom-designed fire pits, and private decks.”

Driving Further

Travelers are willing to drive further distances in lieu of air travel, according to Duetto’s analysis.

New Bookings in New York City

New York City saw its largest uptick in net new bookings, up 318 percent, over the prior 14 weeks. Although well below 2019 numbers, these numbers show a positive response to some restrictions lifting and lowered COVID rates.