July 31, 2015 · Melissa Kavanagh

Are Shorter Vacation Booking Windows A Growing Trend?

As the preferred interactive agency for many resorts in the Myrtle Beach area, Fuel has two distinct assets that help our analytics team become even more valuable to clients than the analysis and recommendations we provide our clients. First, we have the analytics data for a large portion of resorts in the area, which means we can provide a competitive analysis for our clients; we can give them overall trends that we see each week or month across the area and let them know whether they are ahead, on par, or behind the average for this area. Secondly, since our Fuel Booking Engine is so popular, we also have the raw data of bookings made online from all of these properties.
Over the past several months, one of the trends we have been seeing is an increasingly shorter booking window.
This month, we’ve taken the opportunity to look at the trends pertaining to June – both the bookings that were purchased in June, as well as the bookings made throughout the year for June arrival dates. We compared these two dimensions to 2014 and to 2013.

Below you can see the data for the bookings made in June.

Compared to 2014, you’ll see substantial increases in bookings for 1 day and 2-7 day windows, while the 31-60 and 61-90 day windows had substantial decreases.
Even more interesting is looking how this year compares to 2013. As a percentage of bookings same day bookings are up 12%, but on the flip side, bookings for more than 90 days out are up 24%.

These are our findings for bookings made throughout the year to arrive in June.

Looking at the data compared to 2014, we again see increases in the 1 day and 2-7 day windows. We also see increases in the longer windows 8-90 days. This means that we’ve had to see a large decrease in the 91+ day window, which is down 12%.
As for the 2013 comparison, the same day and 1 day windows had shifts of 27% and 18%, respectively. The 2-7 and 8-30 day windows also grew, but not to the extent we saw compared to 2014. All of the longer windows had declines.

We’ll be closely monitoring the booking window behavior over the summer months to see if we continue to see this shortening trend.

Is this vacation booking window shift a known trend in your area? Let us know in the comments below.

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