Travel reservations in the Middle East and Africa have dropped off from +40 percent increases in the months immediately prior to widespread regional protests to a just +16.4 percent increase in February.
Japan bookings have declined from a March 10 increase of 26.1 percent over 2010 to a triple digit decrease on March 11, when the 9.0-magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit.
These startling numbers come from a special issue of The Pegasus View addressing the impact of the Japan and New Zealand earthquakes, as well as political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa on the global travel industry. The Pegasus Solutions report details changes in historic and forward-looking bookings, average daily rate (ADR), length of stay (LOS) and revenue for Asia-Pacific and Europe-Middle East-Africa hotels geographically affected by the natural disasters and political protests.
“We anxiously watched to find out how our hotel customers were affected by these historic events, as we did last year while waiting for the volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajokull to settle,” said Mike Kistner, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “This special report of The Pegasus View gives us a more complete picture of what happened immediately leading up to and after these events, as well as what the business on the books shows for the coming months in both Asia-Pacific and Europe-Middle East-Africa.”
Middle East and North Africa
Net bookings as of February for stays through August have declined by 85 percent, and rates have dropped by as much as 37.2 percent. Analysis also extends to key travel markets affected by the protests including Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Israel.
In the days following disaster, the decrease in bookings was accompanied by triple-digit drops in net revenue and radical fluctuations in LOS, which swung by more than 1,000 percentage points between March 11 and March 19. Average LOS spiked to +551.9 percent greater than 2010 for the day of the disaster, plummeting to 521.0 percent less than 2010 eight days later. Analysis of the Japan earthquake also includes data from Hawaii, which experienced an immediate drop in bookings from +67.4 percent over 2010 on March 10 to a 23.8 percent drop on March 12.
Data for New Zealand, which experienced a 6.3-magnitude quake on Feb. 22, shows a dramatic drop in net bookings that day by 80 percent below that for 2010. Length of stay increased as high as 82.8 percent the day of the quake as travelers could not easily depart due to safety concerns and infrastructure damage, but returned to pre-quake levels within weeks. Helping buffer the downward influence on revenue, total ADR for New Zealand remained higher than last year. Dropping sporadically below prior year levels, ADR frequently registered double-digit increases over 2010 during the weeks following the earthquake.
This special edition of The Pegasus View is available in its entirety online and by free subscription at www.pegs.com. Data reported in The Pegasus View comes from billions of transactions processed monthly by Pegasus Solutions, the world’s largest global processor of hotel transactions. It is the only industry report to reflect data drawn from both GDS (global distribution systems) and ADS (alternative distribution systems) transactions, representing the business and leisure markets respectively for about 90,000 hotels worldwide.