Med hotels enjoy booking boost

White architecture on Santorini island, Greece
White architecture on Santorini island, Greece. (Olga_Gavrilova/Getty Images)

More than 60% of small and independent hoteliers in the Mediterranean say bookings are rising faster than at any time in the last 12 months, according to a new survey.

The second quarterly report of 2021 from the Boutique Vibe Hotel Barometer of independent hoteliers revealed owners in Greece and Spain recovered the quickest between April-June, with about 80% of hoteliers seeing higher booking levels above the previous year.

Only 15% of owners said bookings were “worse” or “much worse” than this time last year - and compared to an 82% high in winter 2020. 

As more travelers look to embrace Mediterranean hospitality, a high of 52% of respondents questioned now had at least a positive outlook for the future.

"Sentiment among members is of restrained optimism. They can see light at the end of the tunnel as pre-pandemic optimism returns, but challenges remain," Rim Jourdan, CEO and founder of The Boutique Vibe, said.

These underlying concerns revolve around remaining Covid-19 protocols, travel complexities, and softening of the global economy.

One in three hoteliers questioned are concerned about the global economy's future. Hoteliers are refocusing on issues such as the overall rise of costs (16%), distribution costs (6%), and the threat of new trends in accommodation (8%).

The Barometer highlighted how hoteliers coped during the pandemic in different ways, with reduced operational periods, additional cost-cutting and staff layoffs. 

While most of these remain, there has been a significant drop in staff redundancies (40% this quarter compared to 53% in Q1 2021), indicating hotels are back in the market for experienced personnel.