Get ready for a successful summer season. Key insights from our recent Q1 earnings call include record booking figures, a resurgence in international travel and all-time high home accommodation bookings. Thanks to you all for your hard work so far this year – there are plenty of reasons to be excited for summer!
1. Record number of bookings in Q1 offers hope for a successful summer
Q1 2023 exceeded all our expectations, largely thanks to the continued strength in leisure travel demand, and from a lengthening booking window, particularly in Europe and the US. Globally, we reached all-time quarterly highs for As Booked Room Nights (ABRN) of 274 million, up 38% year-over-year (YOY) and gross bookings of $39.4 billion, up 44% YOY. These exciting upward trends suggest that you can look forward to a strong summer season in 2023.
One of the key trends we’re seeing is that travellers are booking further in advance. The booking window at Booking.com expanded versus 2019 for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, and was longer than expected due to strong levels of bookings for travel in the summer, which is good news for us all.
2. International travel is on a strong path
Now that travel restrictions have been fully lifted, travel in Asia has enjoyed a significant recovery, with room night growth up 100% in Q1 2023. This has been supported by encouraging growth across all other regions too, with Europe and Rest of World both up more than 30%, and high single digit growth in the US versus the previous year.
Booking.com’s flight offering was an important part of our total Q1 73% YOY increase in air tickets, which was up from 61% YOY growth in Q4 2022. It’s very encouraging to see international travel on such a strong path, and you should be able to benefit from a significant increase in bookings this summer by travellers from these regions.
Tip: Boost your bookings by using Country Rates to target guests from specific regions.
3. Home accommodations are at an all-time high
In the US, home accommodation room nights hit their highest ever share of overall bookings [homes vs. hotel], and we’ve also seen growth globally in this area. All the hard work that has gone into our payments solution, partner liability insurance and an enhanced damage policy is paying off, and bringing more home listings to our platform.
There’s been great traction with home partners in the US adopting our enhanced payment solution. Globally, and across all gross bookings including homes and hotels, about 45% of Booking.com’s gross bookings were processed through our payments platform in Q1 – up from about 34% in Q1 2022. Travellers can now book more easily and we’ve seen how this helps you improve productivity, with new partners receiving their first booking on our platform earlier than before.
Tip: Use Online Payments to offer travellers a wide range of payment options, and leave payment collection to us.
4. Artificial intelligence will help us optimise the booking experience
We began investing in artificial intelligence years ago to help us build towards a truly Connected Trip. Having used AI to optimise interactions with our customers for a long time, such as for personalising recommendations, we’re now well positioned in this area. Recently we’ve been focusing on Large Language Models or LLMs, which provide many interesting possibilities for improving all areas of travel searching and booking. These include using AI to build interactive itineraries for travellers and to answer their questions. We’re excited to explore more ways these emerging technologies can benefit you and your guests.
Tip: Watch this video to discover how we use AI and machine learning to match demand with resources and optimise conversion.
Here’s to a successful summer
There are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic that the current encouraging trends of growth will continue, and result in a successful summer booking season for all of you. At our recent Click. 2023 event, our regional leaders shared the latest traveller behaviours they’ve identified – check out these trends as peak season approaches.
- Q1 2023 exceeded expectations, and all the signs point to a successful summer season
- With restrictions fully lifted, international travel is on a strong path
- Home accommodations hit their highest ever share of overall bookings in the US
- Artificial intelligence is helping us optimise the booking experience for you and your customers