Based on hotel bookings for the week of November 22-28, Amadeus sees potential improvement in Thanksgiving holiday forward-looking occupancy compared to Labor Day. As Americans approach what is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year – the day before Thanksgiving – many people want to know if it will maintain its status, albeit under very different circumstances as COVID-19 cases continue to rise again. Amadeus, with its unique ability to track forward-looking occupancy in major markets around the world, is seeing a positive trend in hotel bookings the week of U.S. Thanksgiving. While overall occupancy remains below 2019, there are many areas showing higher occupancy levels one week out, indicating the 0-7 day booking window has increased slightly.
Top Thanksgiving destinations with over 50% hotel occupancy are (see Figure 1):
- Moab, UT
- Sedona, AZ
- Key West, FL
- George, UT
- Sierra Vista, AZ
- McAllen, TX
- Vail, CO
- Prescott, AZ
- Brownville, TX
- Santa Barbara, CA
Destinations in national park hot spots continue to be popular with Moab, UT, and Sedona, AZ, at the top of the list and nearing 80% occupancy, both with access to parks known for the red rock formations – Arches National Park and Red Rock State Park, respectively.
Figure 1: Top US markets by occupancy and weeks the bookings were made for the week of Thanksgiving
Booking windows are lengthening, but last-minute travel remains popular (see Figure 2):
According to Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Hospitality, Amadeus, “For the summer holidays of Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day, we saw a steady occupancy build-up from weeks 3 to 2 to 1, with Labor Day at a final occupancy of 41%.
“For Thanksgiving, occupancy levels are trending higher compared to the summer holidays, and we are encouraged by seeing a number of markets with occupancy above 50% and in some cases nearing 80%.”
Figure 2: Booked hotel occupancy according to booking window.
Travelers are escaping the big cities
Where are these people coming from? Travelers who have booked trips with a hotel stay appear to be taking a break from big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago, for destinations with wide, open spaces. Top cities with travelers getting away with a hotel stay for Thanksgiving are:
- New York – Northern New Jersey – Long Island, NY-NJ-PA, US
- Los Angeles – Long Beach – Santa Ana, CA, US
- Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta, GA, US
- Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, TX, US
- Chicago – Naperville – Joilet, IL-IN-WI, US
- Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown, TX, US
- Washington – Arlington – Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, US
- Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach, FL, US
- San Francisco – Oakland – Fremont, CA, US
- Philadelphia – Camden – Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, US