While heralding the beginning of spring, the month of March is also well-known across the United States as the month of spring break.
NB: This is an article from Koddi
During a designated two-week period in March, 70% of American schools and universities hold their students’ beloved spring breaks. These planned holiday school closures often lead to a surge in last-minute bookings. As the spring break window of time also extends to include younger students, family vacations frequently spike, too.
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During this popular traveling time, certain spring break destinations saw up to a 44% increase in demand in March in 2021. Now, in March 2022, we expect the first spring break with reduced nationwide COVID-related public safety restrictions to deliver even bigger booking rates.
Monthly Demand Overview
The month of March has seen a 22% increase in hotel demand so far compared to the start of February, driven by spring breakers looking for stays in March. We expect to see demand increase even more as we get closer to spring break and the last minute travelers look to make their plans. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, March saw a booking increase of 34% compared to February. What does this mean for hoteliers? Now is the time to boost OTA and metasearch budgets to capitalize on this March demand.
Target Dates to Increase Bookings
Focusing on the check-in dates for this year’s spring break, we see travel demand increasing as we near this travel window, creating a spike in demand. To take advantage of this spike, we can bid more aggressively on user searches for these specific dates.
Below is a graph of the increase in 2022’s spring break peak demand, compared to 2021. 2022, in blue, shows just how much more aggressive user behavior is for this year’s spring holiday season, compared to 2021 where travel performed relatively well even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Location, Location, Location
A lot of travelers look for sunny places to spend their spring break. We recommend targeting not just spring break timing but also locations in your bidding strategy – this is where we can really increase our volume capture. Here is a list of the top 20 cities in terms of demand for spring break, indicating their increase in demand over the past two weeks.
Note: we expect NY demand is increasing not only because of increased overall demand, but lifted restrictions in the city.
What Flight Demand Tells Us About Travel
Additionally, another great indicator for hotel demand is flight data. So far in 2022, we are seeing an overall increase in domestic flight demand, increasing further as March goes on.
Top 20 Flight Destination Index
As the spring break travel rush approaches, we expect to see an increase in demand that can be taken advantage of by increasing bid levers. Such as; spring break check in dates, booking windows, and popular spring break locations.