So-called ‘revenge travel’, trips making up for those that people missed out on during Covid-19 restrictions, has brought about a successful summer for hotels, according to Dermot Crowley, the CEO of Irish hotel group Dalata, and he believes the trend may continue.
This year has seen the tourism industry recover on an international scale as travellers are finally confident enough (and able) to take trips that were previously delayed or cancelled due to the pandemic. The term revenge travel was coined in response to this renewed passion for seeing the world, and the trend has resulted in increased bookings at hotels.
Dalata, which operates the Maldron and Clayton brands, is an example of a hotel company benefitting from the resurgence of tourism and the revenge travel trend. The largest hotel operator in Ireland, it also runs 19 hotels in the UK and one in Germany, with a total of 11,239 rooms.
Dalata recently reported a 24% year-on-year increase in H1 adjusted EBITDA to €103m ($112m), which Crowley attributes to the post-Covid travel resurgence.
He told Reuters: “Certainly two, three, four years before Covid people in their 20s would have been prioritizing travel and experiences over buying things. That trend had already started and seems now to have extended to the wider population.
“There’s no doubt a lot of it is related to post-Covid but the longer it goes on, the more you think well it could actually be a change in people’s travel habits.”
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Revenge travel has been most evident among US citizens visiting Europe, driving business to European hotels. Travel insurer Allianz Partners reported a 55% increase in American visitors to Europe last year following a massive 600% increase in the number between 2021 and 2022.
That trend has been evident on social media, with GlobalData figures showing mentions of Europe dominating travel and tourism-based posts among industry influencers.
The flocks of visitors embarking on their 'revenge travel' are good news for the hotel industry, and Dalata’s locations have particularly benefitted from the influx of international tourism: London is the top destination for American visitors, where the company has five hotels, followed by Paris and Dublin, where they have 17.
The new enthusiasm for travel – a ‘revenge’ on restricted travel during the pandemic – has been reflected across social media postings. The term ‘hotel’ has seen steady growth since its significant drop in April 2020, whilst ‘flights’ has seen the most dramatic growth.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has received progressively less attention since its last peak in December 2021.
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