Customer Alliance City Report 2020 – Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic Based on a Global Analysis of Hotel Reviews
Without doubt, the current coronavirus crisis is affecting the global economy tremendously. To look at the development of the pandemic from a different perspective, we want to share some interesting insights based on valuable review data.
Usually, analysts use widely accepted health indicators like the number of new daily cases. Instead, we analyzed 18 million online guest reviews in 16 large cities in Europe, America and Asia, and compared them with the previous year. These findings allow us to better understand the development of the pandemic and to be able to assume when markets start to recover. In each city, we choose between 200 and 500 hotels to get a representative view on what is happening in the market and to get an indirect indicator for the development of the economic situation.
We pulled all reviews from leading review portals such as booking.com, TripAdvisor and Google as well as renown country-specific review platforms such as Ctrip in China. Based on the analysis, we want to figure out which markets were affected at which point of time and which of them start to recover?
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Let’s take a look the key findings…
- In general, most cities saw a significant increase in reviews compared to the previous year’s level in January and February. However, Beijing already recorded a decrease from January onward.
- The review volume dropped in New York City earlier than in Berlin and Moscow, while the number of reviews went down in New York City and San Francisco at a similar speed.
- Rome was the first European city to experience a decreasing number of guest reviews in January 2020. As for the other cities, the review volume went down simultaneously.
- It is interesting to see that Berlin, London, Paris and Vienna saw an increase in February 2020 compared to January. Nevertheless, all analysed European cities experienced afterwards a significant decrease within just one month.
- Vienna shows a very drastic drop of reviews. While having a plus of 47.2% in February 2020 compared to 2019, the number of reviews decreased to -40.5% within a month.
- Despite regulations that are more relaxed compared to European standards in Stockholm, the number of reviews in April is with -98.3% just as low as in other cities.
…for the Domestic Travel in China:
Please note that the following numbers are based on Ctrip reviews. These reflect the domestic travel in China more accurately as it is the preferred review portal for Chinese travellers.
- The lowest number of reviews across China has been reached in calendar week 7. Since then, the analysed review volume shows a slow recovery of the Chinese domestic travel market. In calendar week 18, Shanghai is back at -70% compared to -90% in calendar week 7. Hong Kong is back at -72% vs. -81% at the maximum low. Compared to other Chinese cities, Hong Kong was the least affected by a drop in reviews.
- Wuhan was affected most with an ongoing low between – 91% to -98% since calendar week 6.
To get more insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry, please follow the link.