COVID-19 update: a late summer evaluation

It’s time for an update! In our earlier evaluation, where we mainly looked at June and July, we saw that for some countries a positive amount of guests booked and actually stayed overnight in the hotels. We have also looked at the data of August and September. Read on and find out how the hotel industry did over the past two months.


To better understand this article, it's important to comprehend the difference between arrivals and bookings:

  • Arrival: the stay date of guest.
  • Booking: the date in which the booking was made. For example, a booking may have been made in May for arrival in June.

The data for August and September 2020 has been compared with data from 2019 for the same period.


Read the evaluation of June and July: COVID-19 update: insights for this year's summer season


Arrival dates, book dates and cancellations

Although we do not see any significant decreases in the data, we unfortunately do not yet see any significant improvement in the figures either. Above all, we note that bookers mostly still book last-minute up to one month ahead.

In July we saw an increase in the number of bookings, i.e. +15% compared to June. Unfortunately, we again saw a downward trend in August and September (-46% in July, -48% in August, and -50% in September compared to 2019).

This dip is not reflected in the number of arrivals in August and September. The number of arrivals remained more or less the same as in July (on average, -46% over three months, compared to 2019).

In the same period, we do see a slight increase in cancellations; whereas in July it was still +4% compared to 2019, in August it was +6%, and in September it was +8%.


The article continues below. (click here to go straight to the text below)

Book data (general) EN - 2

Arrival data (general) EN - 2

Cancellation data (general) EN - 2


Highlighted: noteworthy data by country/region

The coronavirus figures do not necessarily apply to every country or region. We saw some noteworthy numbers, which is why we are highlighting a few countries separately. Click on the country to go straight to that update:


The Netherlands

July was a good month for Dutch hotels. Unfortunately, in August and September, it was not such a good month in terms of bookings made. The number of bookings was -8% in August and -10% in September, again below the number of bookings of 2019. However, the Dutch were not discouraged. They made more bookings for hotels in their own country in August (+11%) and September (+13%) compared to last year.

Fortunately, the number of arrivals in Dutch hotels was positive, just as in July. There were +3% more arrivals in August (compared to 2019). In September, almost as many visitors arrived in the Netherlands compared to 2019. Of these arrivals in August, -3% were Dutch people who went on holiday in their own country (compared to 2019). In September, the number of Dutch bookers in the Netherlands was +12% (compared to 2019).

In August and September, we see a slight increase in the number of cancellations compared to the previous months (approximately +5%). Dutch people do not cancel more often than before.


Nordic countries

(Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)

In July we saw a small revival in the number of bookings made (+23% compared to June), but unfortunately, the number of bookings in August and September dropped back to the percentage we saw in June (-67% compared to 2019).

The number of bookings and arrivals in August and September, fell back to the percentages of June (on average -64%, compared to 2019).

And where the number of cancellations in July stabilised to +1% (compared to 2019), we see in August and September that more bookings were being cancelled (+9% in August and +6% in September).



The number of bookings in August remains almost the same as in July (-43% compared to 2019). In September, we see an increase in the number of bookings (-30% compared to 2019).

We see a very slight increase in the number of arrivals in August and September. On average, +8% compared to July this year.

The number of cancellations rises slightly compared to August (+3% compared to July).


United States

The number of bookings increased slightly in August and September compared to July (+6%). The number of arrivals also increased slightly by +3% compared to July.

In August and September, for the first time since February, there were fewer cancellations compared to the previous year (-2%).


Channel Manager SmartHOTEL


About SmartHOTEL

For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.


By Chantal Mieremet | October 19, 2020

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