When it comes to booking the next vacation or “holiday” as they say across the pond, the US has proven to be decidedly more optimistic so far in the recovery and recent hotel bookings activity among leisure travelers are proof of that.
With much of the EU still in the uncertainty camp with closed borders and slower vaccine rollouts, the desire to book future travel has been missing. But we’re not too worried and if the US is any guide, we expect EU closer-in hotel bookings will catch up with the US trajectory in due time.
In the below we’re showing up to date data from ADARA which highlights the difference in leisure hotel bookings among US consumers vs EU consumers.
The bigger point that we’d note is that both regions are showing clearer signs that they’re bottoming and heading higher.
Importantly, these bottoming processes are occurring at higher levels of activity; i.e. full retrenchment back to March / April ’20 booking trends did not occur despite tougher bouts with Covid in late Q4/early Q1.
For now, these trends might disproportionately be aiding $EXPE’s recovery, but $BKNG will also benefit from a stronger US and then should get a big boost from the EU in the coming months.
We remain bullish on the leisure travel set up and believe that bookings (and ultimately revenues) will exceed the consensus expectations, starting as early as Q2. Both $EXPE and $BKNG = Hedgeye Best Idea Longs.