Research by the hotel room offer platform, Hoo, has revealed that this summer could see a combination of Covid uncertainty and intentional double-booking by holidaymakers result in a further uplift in hotel cancellation rates.
Hoo crunched the data on hotel cancellation rates between January and March across both the UK and Europe to compare how the current holiday landscape looks versus this time last year.
"A year ago, we had just entered into our first lockdown and many remained optimistic about getting away on holiday (oh, how wrong we were). Across the UK, hotel cancellation rates sat at 20%, while across Europe, Covid had already gained a far stronger foothold resulting in cancellations climbing to a notable 65.5%" says Hoo.
Fast forward a year later and despite fears of a third wave, cancellation rates across Europe have actually reduced to 40.5%. Although this still means a fair chunk of hotel bookings are falling through.
However, continued restrictions around travel and ongoing Covid uncertainty mean that in the UK, domestic hotel cancellations have climbed by 19.3% between January and March year-on-year, with 39.3% of all hotel bookings now being cancelled.
A trend that Hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, believes we will likely see intensify over the coming months.
Adrian Murdock, commented: “We’ve all been keeping our fingers firmly crossed that a holiday of some shape or form will be on the cards this year. Unfortunately, we still find ourselves unable to travel for even a weekend away, and so many are finding that their plans are once again having to be cancelled.
This has caused a sharp uplift in the percentage of hotel booking cancellations so far this year and we expect this to climb further still over the course of the summer.
However, it’s not just Covid that will drive this figure skywards. Hoteliers have already spoken about what they see as a growing trend whereby holidaymakers are booking multiple venues, both here and abroad, with the intention of cancelling the least desirable at the last minute.
This behaviour has the potential to cause havoc for the hotel industry and will see many hardworking hoteliers lose out on vital income in these tough times. Not to mention the fact that it leaves others high and dry for a place to stay.
Our advice for those who can’t find a hotel at present is to keep the faith. With last minute cancellations likely to be rife, you may be able to secure a good deal by booking just before you plan to go away.”
Table shows the percentage of hotel bookings to have been cancelled in each time period and the year on year change
Hotel cancellation rate est (Jan to March 2020)
Hotel cancellation rate est (Jan to March 2021)