Advanced booking trends: Easter 2019


Understanding how far in advance guests book their vacation rentals is an essential part of your pricing strategy. Maintaining an accurate calendar is a crucial part of revenue management and Easter is a key driver of bookings.

Transparent has analysed the historical reservations of the occupancy and average daily rates (ADR) during Easter across the world, unveiling the booking behaviour of visitors and allowing us to see how far in advance visitors were booking their accommodation prior to January 2019. We show the long-term demand for cities from Monday 15 April to Sunday 21 April, looking at the occupancy levels that these cities already showed before December 31 2018. We have taken a look at cities where occupancy rates were more than 10% during this week to analyse whether property managers were already maximizing their revenue 4 months in advance or not.

This graph shows the ADR in 6 cities before Easter (8-14 April 2019), during Easter (15-21 April 2019) and after Easter (22-28 April 2019) based on data from December 31 2018:
This graph shows the occupancy in 6 cities before Easter (8-14 April 2019), during Easter week (15-21 April 2019) and after Easter (22-28 April 2019) based on data from December 31 2018:

Valencia, Spain

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is one of the most traditional and heartfelt celebrations in Spain. It runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and is an excellent opportunity for property managers to optimize their revenue as thousands of visitors gather in Spain’s main cities throughout the week. Guaranteed sun and Valencia’s carnival-like approach to the more solemn processions elsewhere in Spain makes it a go-to destination for Easter. Valencia had the highest occupancy with rates increasing to 36% during that week, from 14% the week before. However, the ADR barely changed: it was $36 the week prior to Easter and $38 during Semana Santa. More than one-third of Valencian listings were already booked before January 2019 which shows that despite the increase in demand for properties, many property managers were not increasing their rates and missing opportunities.

Jerusalem, Israel

In Jerusalem, there is a confluence of Christian and Jewish festivals at this time of year, resulting in flocks of tourists gathering in the Holy City. This year, Easter weekend marked both the beginning of Passover and Easter Sunday and property managers took advantage of this by increasing their rates. Prices increased from an average of $60 the week before to $100 during Easter week, and then decreased again to $66 the week after. The occupancy rate was 21% and then dropped to a mere 9% the week after. Higher prices and higher occupancy rates during Easter weekend show that property managers were making informed decisions on their pricing based on the higher demand for short-term rentals.

Seville, Spain

Seville is a true representation of Castilian culture and the Semana Santa traditions of the 15th century. The Sevillian “cofradías”, or religious brotherhoods, withstand the weight of ornate religious statues for hours on end as they parade down the narrow streets of the old town in a hypnotic metronome-like march. The ADR during this week was $69 and decreased to $56 the week after. Moreover, the occupancy rate was at 25% (decreasing to 21% the week after), showing that, in general, property managers in Seville were making informed decisions about their pricing.

Malaga, Spain

In Malaga, religious and military parades circle the streets as festivities involve both religious praise and tribute to the military. Hundreds of men carry floats with scenes from the story of the Passion of Christ through the streets and the week is characterised by atmospheric, yet solemn, processions. The ADR increased from $43 the week before to $47 during Semana Santa and then dropping again to $34 the week after.  Nevertheless, occupancy was at 18% during Semana Santa and was almost 50% less the week after, at 10%. The higher occupancy during this week shows that property managers may have been leaving money on the table: when the demand is higher than the supply, you should look into increasing your rates to maximize potential revenue.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisboetas follow age-old traditions throughout Lent and Easter week is characterized by vast and colourful processions. Occupancy rates were already at 12% in December 2018, increasing 3% from the week before and prices averaged $46, increasing $3. Although the data shows that there is only a small percentage increase in occupancy during Easter week, it is probable that the demand continued in the run-up to Easter. Property managers should, therefore, continue to monitor their rates and pay attention to the market and their competitors when they notice these trends.

Barcelona, Spain

Despite being high in occupancy during Semana Santa, Barcelona is a less well-known destination with far fewer festivities than in other parts of Spain. Nevertheless, Barcelona’s popularity throughout the year signified that despite occupancy and pricing remaining relatively stagnant, occupancy was already at 10% four months in advance. Moreover, it is important to bear in mind that national holidays in Spain and in countries nearby may increase the demand for vacation rentals so property managers should take this into account.

Methodology

Transparent maintains a private data feed of millions of historical reservations worldwide. Data was crunched from this database looking for cities across the World with more than 10% occupancy on 31 December 2018 for the week 15-21 April 2019.

The Average Daily Rate (ADR) is per capita in US dollars ($): it is the average price per person per night.

Conclusion

This week shows the importance of analysing rates in good time. Annual events are often booked further in advance as guests are confident of the exact dates. You should ensure that you make smarter pricing decisions by altering your rates as soon as possible to maximize your rates and occupancy.

You should forecast possible demand and take advantage of increased prices of vacation rental listings. Transparent’s Rate & Demand Dashboards give you insights into your local market, showing market conditions such as the pick up, occupancy and prices, so that you can create a strategy accordingly. With Transparent, you can easily compare daily rates against competitors, analyse future occupancy and spot market trends as soon as possible.

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