Lastminute.com has seen a 3% year-on-year increase in domestic hotel bookings through its site compared to the previous year, despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
According to the online booking site, 94% of all package holiday bookings were for hotels abroad last month, marking only a 3% decline from 2019. However, the number of domestic hotel bookings rose by 3% to 67% in 2020, up from 64% the year before.
It comes as Marco Corradino, CEO of lastminute.com, praised the travel and leisure industry’s “efforts to guarantee customer safety”.
He said: “Consumer desires have evolved very rapidly in recent months. Rather than price, people are more preoccupied with their safety, and the industry has been pulling out all the stops to assure so many people of that.”
He added that Lastminute expects booking habits to evolve over the coming year, away from “long-term decision making to a “last chance” mindset which could prove to be a boon for the industry”.
He said: “Although holiday booking numbers are much lower overall than last year, when we look at the share of bookings by lead time, the proportion of bookings departing within the week is 200% higher than last year, as people evaluate the level of risk associated with each location.
“This “last chance” mindset could have a potentially positive impact on the industry with people leaping to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, rather than prioritising factors like cost.”
He added: “Some EU destinations could see an uptick in visitors at more unusual times of the year, rather than a big concentration in the summer months – Kos and Cyprus have both experienced more than a 50% hike in popularity since October last year, for instance.
“At lastminute.com, we’ve introduced measures that enable greater flexibility to accommodate this shift in behaviour, which we expect to continue for another year at least.”