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Understanding the impact of COVID-19 based on hotel reviews and website traffic

The review volume in Berlin is higher than in other European cities. The review volume in London is still very low. New York City sees very little activity. The number of reviews in Shanghai and Hong Kong are increasing, but they are still below 2019 levels. Traffic on European hotel websites is reaching pre-COVID-19 levels.

BERLIN – Customer Alliance provides new numbers and insights based on its City Report for the first half of 2020. To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry in order to make assumptions for market recovery, the B2B software provider analysed around 18,6 million online hotel reviews in 16 metropolises in Europe, America and Asia, and compared them with the previous year. Moreover, Customer Alliance has evaluated the data of its widget to analyse the traffic on hotel websites in Europe. The widget is used by hotels to display the average review score to all website visitors and to convert more direct bookings.

Shanghai on top, New York City at the bottom of the list
In global comparison, Shanghai shows the strongest growth in reviews with -55% compared to the previous year. In general, the review volume in Shanghai and Hong Kong is increasing, but still below the levels in 2019. The review volume in New York City is -95%,  the lowest among major global cities. 

Berlin shows highest review volume in Europe, while London is at the tail end
The review volume in Berlin is higher than in other European cities. In calendar week 25, Berlin was 75% below 2019 levels, followed by Moscow with a minus of 80%. Coming in at the lower end of the European comparison is London with a review volume of around 98% over the last 10 weeks. 

Chinese domestic travel is picking up
Domestic travel in China and Hong Kong is picking up as well, as reflected by the number of reviews from Ctrip. In calendar week 25, Shanghai is only 37% below 2019 levels  vs. -90% in calendar week 7. Hong Kong is at -67% vs. -81% in calendar week 7, when the lowest point of reviews across China was reached.

Traffic on hotel websites is reaching pre-COVID-19 levels – France and Italy ahead
In calendar week 23 (1st – 6th of June), the traffic on hotel websites in Europe finally reached its pre-COVID-19 level from calendar week 6 (=100%, 3rd – 9th of February). Within one week, the numbers rapidly increased from 61% to 102%. France and Italy took great strides to catch up and are now on top of the European comparison. In calendar week 26 (22nd – 28th of June), Italian hotel websites achieved a growth of 114%, and the traffic on French websites had an increase of 106% compared to the numbers in February. At the same time, Germany and Austria are still slightly below the levels of February with an increase of 96% and 82% respectively.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.