Dublin-based online travel agent Hostelworld said revenue has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels as booking values rise and European destinations recover.

n a statement ahead of its annual general meeting today, chairman Michael Cawley said “the strong start experienced in the first 12 weeks of 2022 has continued through April and into early May”.

Net bookings reached 73pc of 2019 levels last week, with revenue reaching 97pc of pre-pandemic levels thanks to higher booking values, Mr Cawley said.

Booking demand into Europe, Hostelworld’s largest destination in 2019, has almost fully recovered to 2019 levels, Mr Cawley said, with some markets exceeding 100pc.

Bookings in Oceania and Asia are recovering more slowly as Covid-19 restrictions continue in some areas.

Long-haul bookings are 70pc of 2019 levels, although trips from the US and Canada into Europe have already recovered to 2019 levels.

“Overall, we are seeing the recovery continue across all destinations and demand segments,” Mr Cawley said.

“We are very confident in our business model and in our proven capability to capture the pent-up customer demand to travel.

“The performance to date has been stronger than we had initially expected, and we are well geared to the travel recovery.

“Despite a number of external factors including inflationary pressures and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we anticipate this strong recovery trajectory to continue.”

Hostelworld reported a “strong start” to 2022 in its annual results in March, despite the stop-start nature of Covid restrictions, rising fuel costs and the war in Ukraine putting people off travelling.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation showed a loss of €17.3m in 2021, flat on 2020, with full-year net bookings stuck at 1.5 million for the second year in a row, just over a fifth of 2019 levels.

On the plus side, net revenue was 10pc up on 2020, at €16.9m, while net average booking value was up 30pc, at €12.11. Cancellations were down 43pc.

The increased revenue is thanks to growth in the Central American market – which is now twice as big as it was in 2019 – rising average bed prices and people booking longer stays.

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