Significant Decline in the Week-Over-Week Review Trend – What Does That Mean for Travel and Hospitality?
In our previous Travel Health Index update, we discussed the state of the hospitality industry as seen through guest reviews, up until the week ending August 16th. The upwards trend that we previously registered had stopped progressing and instead, showed a steady, linear trajectory. Caution was advised - and rightly so.
By August 30th, the Travel Health Index registered a score of 39. While this is only one point less than two weeks before, the global week-over-week trend that follows the volume of guest reviews has significantly declined, from 0 to -8. This is the first negative score in the week-over-week trend after 17 consecutive weeks of neutral or positive movements, partly due to the end of the peak holiday season and partly magnified by the pandemic. The drop in guest reviews is clearly depicted in the graphic below:
In order to get a better understanding of where the negative score is coming from, we looked at individual countries and their week-over-week trend of hotel guest reviews. What we immediately noticed is that many countries, even the ones that had a very positive and encouraging trajectory until now, are currently registering drops in the number of reviews. European countries have previously been on a steady, positive trajectory and signaled towards an anticipated recovery, however, promising countries like Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey are now getting a lower volume of guest reviews, as compared to the previous week. Cyprus has a score of -25, followed closely by Greece, with -24, and Turkey, with -20.
Even in Asia, another region where the signs of recovery were positive, many countries are now on a downward trend. In fact, the only countries to register a slight growth in the week ending August 30th are Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, and Singapore.
The current negative movements that are being registered in the travel and hospitality industry can easily be tied to the ending of the vacation season and the return to school, which are normal and seasonal changes. However, the fact that European countries are shutting down once more and travel restrictions are being reinforced or simply continue to be strict in many regions is bound to raise concerns. At this point, it is hard to predict the trajectory of the hospitality industry, since changes are happening at a rapid and oftentimes, chaotic pace. With peak travel season being over, it is likely that we will witness further decrease in the number of trips and vacations but the much-expected relaxation of the travel restrictions and COVID-19 measures might tip the scale and encourage travelers to hit the road once more. One thing that we can be certain of right now is that the industry should remain resilient and prepare for future halts in travel while anticipating the recovery of the travel sector.
It’s important for hoteliers and hospitality professionals to keep a close eye on the global and regional trends in terms of guest reviews, in order to understand where the industry stands and where it’s headed. Make sure to check the Travel Health Index for ongoing, weekly updates that show the real progress of each region, as well as individual countries.
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