Hotel bookings surge following news of COVID-19 vaccine approval

More than 9,000 transactions for hotel bookings after the FDA approved Pfizer COVID vaccine, new data shows

The hotel industry is getting a glimmer of hope from the COVID vaccine.

After news of the FDA's first COVID-19 vaccine approval, the number of hotel bookings at properties across websites for hotels such as Hyatt, Marriott and Best Western and booking platforms like Kayak, Hotwire and Priceline saw the largest jump in daily bookings since March, when the pandemic became widespread in the U.S., according to new data shared with FOX Business from travel technology company RateGain.

The COVID vaccine appears to give hope for people looking to travel again. (iStock)

The company, which runs bookings for the travel websites, saw 9,512 transactions processed in the U.S. on Dec. 11, the day when the FDA approved the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID vaccine, perhaps suggesting that Americans are hopeful for safe future travel. To compare, sales between November and December a year earlier, before the pandemic hit, generated between 8,500 to 10,000 bookings per day, RateGain data shows.

DELTA AIRLINES EXTENDS FEE WAIVERS FOR DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL TICKETS 

RateGain says the Dec. 11 surge showed the highest number of room nights booked and 50% higher than all Fridays in the past four weeks. The best day for travel booking before the vaccine was approved was two weeks before Thanksgiving; however, bookings did not surge past 7,000, and they declined as the holiday approached amid the CDC urging against holiday travel.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
H HYATT HOTELS CORP. 75.91 +0.25 +0.33%
MAR MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. 144.62 -0.18 -0.12%
BKNG BOOKING HOLDINGS, INC. 2,337.56 -7.44 -0.32%

Some of the most popular destinations for travel bookings since Dec. 11 included Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Jacksonville and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C., and Oceanside, Calif., according to RateGain.

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The travel industry has gained some momentum following COVID-19 vaccine trials in the U.K. British budget airline EasyJet has had a 50% increase in bookings, its CEO said, according to Reuters. Competitor Ryanair, meanwhile, estimates up to an 80% traffic return by summer 2021 based on news of the vaccine.