September initiated the shoulder season with a 19.7 per cent surge in demand and a 1.5 per cent growth in occupancy compared to last year, as guests not limited by school holidays enjoyed travelling out of season. While last year, demand dropped off 30.8 per cent from August into September, this year the drop-off decreased to 23.1 per cent — and just seven per cent in Germany and 13 per cent in the UK.
Austria [+4.1 per cent], Czechia [+3.9 per cent] and Spain [+3.3 per cent] led occupancy growth, while Finland [-15.1 per cent], Denmark [-5.9 per cent] and Sweden [-5.5 per cent] faced challenges, suffering from high supply growth.
Notably, occupancy declines affected smaller and lower-priced properties more acutely.
Meanwhile, larger properties across Europe experienced increased occupancy, with four-bedroom homes up by 4.1 per cent year-on-year and properties with five or more bedrooms up by 7.7 per cent.
Looking ahead, bookings for the winter months are already 17 per cent higher than last year for October to December, and 18 per cent higher for January to March. Christmassy destinations are set for a great season, with cities such as Krakow [+73 per cent YOY], Prague [+68 per cent YOY] and Vienna [+61 per cent YOY] are all seeing huge increases in nights on the books for December.
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