Hotel Bookings down but outlook to Corporate Travel Still Strong

January 2012 hotel bookings through GDS channels decreased 1.6% compared with the previous year but still represent a "strong and steadfast volume" for corporate travel, according to Pegasus Solutions.


January 2011 GDS bookings had increased about 28% compared with the prior year, and this year's decrease was lower than the 3.4 percent year-over-year drop in bookings reported for December 2011.


"Now that the holidays are behind us and conferences are beginning to ramp up again, it is encouraging that strong reservation activity is maintained and that traction has been made against prior year since last month," according to Pegasus.


The firm projected a similar pattern for the coming months, with volumes staying near last year's levels through April and possibly growing from May.


The January 2012 average daily hotel rate booked through GDSs increased 3.8% year over year, and Pegasus projected additional growth through May.


"Consistently rising rates illustrate further evidence of corporate travel's vitality and its capacity to carry on as the brawn behind industry's recovery," according to Pegasus.


Specifically in North America, January GDS bookings were down 2% year over year, and the average daily rate jumped by 7%.


Bookings in Europe were down by 3.9% and average daily rate was up 1.4%. South America was the only region to see an increase in GDS bookings, up 3.2% coupled with an 8.1% increase in average daily rate.


January GDS bookings in Africa, Asia and Oceania nearly were flat, and average daily rate decreased by 1.6%.