Since the beginning of the pandemic, Simpleview and the 2Synergize team have been monitoring leads, bookings, cancellations, and other data to help DMOs understand the ongoing industry changes — and to be in the best position to respond as we enter the post-pandemic recovery phase.

These results and more can be found on Simpleview’s Insights Hub and are updated weekly to provide you with the most up-to-date data available.

Through September 27, the meetings market in 2021 has seen some highs, lows, and hope for positive trends to come. Compared with 2020 numbers, there is a definite improvement, but numbers are still far below 2019 levels.

Leads Activity: Current Levels

Starting with leads, 2021 has seen some ups and downs. After aggregating data from over 200 U.S. destinations that book meetings, we are starting to see some improvement in the last few weeks from the late-summer slowdown. 

Total Number of Leads 2019 vs 2021 YTD

Compared to 2019, in the spring and early summer of 2021, the total number of leads was starting to trend toward 2019; however, in week 37 (mid-September), leads fell to the lowest levels since mid-March 2021. The last two weeks have seen some improvement, which we all hope to continue to see for the remainder of the year. 

Blog Icon - lightbulb Tip: How are your destination’s leads compared against the aggregated data? Are you seeing the same trends?

Definite Bookings: Current Levels

For definite bookings, we reviewed total room nights booked by month year-to-date compared with 2019 levels.

Total Room Nights Booked by Month 2019 vs 2021 YTD

Room nights booked were consistently below 2019 patterns by approximately -23% to -33%. In July 2021, the difference was reduced to only -8.1% from 2019 levels. However, in September (through 9/27/21), the variance increased to over -54% from 2019.

Blog Icon - lightbulb Tip: Compare your total room nights booked against your 2019 levels to see how your destination is trending against these averages. 

YTD Cancellations with New Bookings

In 2020, cancellations were more the norm than definite bookings, unfortunately. As we entered 2021, we saw cancellations start to decrease in February and definite room night bookings increase. It’s important to monitor cancellations to determine as they could lessen the impact of any new definites placed on the books. 

In the below chart, we look at total room nights booked versus cancelled for a particular week. The bookings delta is the difference between total cancellations and definite room nights. What you want is to see a positive bookings delta.  

Cancellations vs Bookings By Week 2021 YTD

In week 21 (end of May), we started to consistently see a positive booking delta. That continued until week 33 (mid-August), when it turned negative again. In the most recent week of data (late September), the booking delta fell to only -1,762 room nights. We will continue to monitor this data to see if we see new definite room nights overtake new room night cancellations.

Blog Icon - lightbulb Tip: Review your cancellations against your new definites.