Summer is underway and US travelers are ready to celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend. As vaccination numbers increase and COVID restrictions have eased or lifted in many states, hotel stays are being booked further in advance of any holiday since the beginning of COVID-19. Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, with its unique ability to track forward-looking, on-the-books hotel occupancy in major markets around the world, cites the leading markets for Independence Day holiday travel. All of the top 10 markets are over 68% occupancy two weeks prior to the holiday. Current overall US occupancy leading up to the holiday is 37% which is a 236% increase over 2020.
In addition to occupancy, another important metric for market performance is the hotel Average Daily Rates (ADR). At the height of the pandemic, the US saw ADR decline to $94 in April 2020. Looking ahead to the 2021 Independence Day holiday, we see the ADR currently at $170 for the region, a 25% improvement over the 2020 holiday performance and closely aligned with pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.
The top 10 markets are in Hawaii, Florida, beach destinations in Maryland and South Carolina, and cities close to National Parks. Two weeks prior to the Independence Day weekend there are 44 markets at or over 50% occupancy.
A change from previous holiday periods, markets over 50% occupancy are more broadly spread throughout the United States, perhaps reflective of reduced COVID restrictions across the country. Florida and California have the highest number of markets over 50% occupancy. Interestingly, Hawaii only has three markets over 50% occupancy, though all of them are included in the top 10 markets for the holiday. As reference, for Memorial Day, the states with the highest number of markets over 50% occupancy were Florida, Texas, and California.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, we saw the most significant volume of bookings (72%) being made within 7 days of travel. Looking at Independence Day 2021, there is a significant increase in booked occupancy in the weeks leading up to the holiday when compared with the previous year. As of June 18, 2021, 57% of bookings are being made within 7 days of travel compared to 44% in 2019, creating optimism for occupancy growth in the final days leading up to the holiday weekend.
Top Destinations where U.S. travelers are flying for Independence Day:
Air travel searches in the month of June indicate that people are ready to venture beyond domestic borders. Of the 50 top searched destinations for travel around the holiday, 17 are international. Based on booked flights to date, Amadeus has identified the following top five flight destinations for the Independence Day holiday weekend with Hawaii leading the list, matching the top hospitality market.
- Los Angeles
- New York
(Source: Amadeus Travel Intelligence Portal as of June 18, 2021)
Top international destinations where American travelers are headed for the holiday weekend are Mexico (Cancun and Cabo), Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
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