December cancellation rates for Christmas bookings have fallen 40% from 2020, with the final two weeks of December (including Christmas and New Year) currently sitting at 10%, according to the latest Hotel booking data from Profitroom.
It revealed 2021 is a “far cry” from the levels of 2020, where the cancellation rate for the three-week period between 1 December and 21 December was 50% – just ahead of the heightened ‘Tier 4’ restrictions coming into play a few days before Christmas, which tipped the cancellation rate to 80%.
However, the data reports the cancellation rate to be almost three times that of 2019, and proposes these figures are set to rise “exponentially” as the Omicron surge continues.
The data has been compiled by Profitroom’s UK hotels within its 3,500 worldwide hotel database taking into account booking statistics and cancellation rates from 2019, 2020 and 2021, between the 1 December and 20 December.
Andrius Remeikis, senior business development manager at Profitroom, said: “Compared to 2020, this year’s December cancellation rate has been far more manageable for hoteliers – and it’s been low enough for operators to continue.
“However, despite this, it’s a lot higher than pre-pandemic levels, which shows that, even without enforced lockdown measures being in place as of yet, hotels have been facing a very tough time already.
He added: “With rumours swirling about greater restrictive measures to come any day, hoteliers will be in fear of the cancellation rate rocketing as it did last year – leaving a devastating impact in its wake.”
Jane Pendlebury, CEO of HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association, said: “ We’ve gone from hoping for a bumper Christmas to merely clinging on, with forecasts and forward planning in disarray. As an industry we desperately need support, and are pleased with the Chancellor’s latest measures.”