We’re delighted to announce that we’ve seen immediate uplift in domestic hotel bookings, across our UK properties, following Prime Minister Borris Johnson’s announcement on the 21st of June.
The reduction in the two-metre social distancing rule also enables many hotels with onsite restaurants to reopen and further support their economic recovery. Our booking patterns show an increase of 512% from the same time last month and – more encouragingly – a consistent pace in the past 10 days.
GBP Booking and Revenue Pace June 2020
Northern Ireland officially announced hotel reopening dates for July 3rd and resort properties in Scotland are reaping the benefits of close ties with local tourism and loyal past guests.
The bookings we are seeing for these properties are similar to the Irish demographic: increased length of stay and higher Average Booking Values. The UK has typically been around 3 to 4 weeks behind the recovery trends. We have also started seeing similar tentative green shoots in the English and Welsh resort properties, indicating that demand is centered around local intent and a new demographic emerging: “Proximity Demand”.
London – like all major European cities has yet to recover and a summer 2020 recovery to acceptable operational trading seems unlikely. While the family resorts across Europe are currently trying to meet the tsunami of demand for July and August dates we expect the trickle of single/couple bookings to turn into a steady flow leading into September and October as social distancing measures become more relaxed and some elements of nightlife returns.
We also expect a normalisation of booking pace as we have had close to 3 months of ‘no activity’ building to create the inevitable “Storm Staycation” in July. Our consumer sentiment surveys show there is still an appetite for domestic bookings later in the year, however, we expect the bookings to be more evenly spread across the next 6 months with shorter lead times and lower average booking values as the family market fades out moving into Autumn and Winter.
Use this time wisely!
One thing has become abundantly clear; international travel will be a rarity in 2020.
Our recent travel intent survey supports this claim with 79% of respondents planning on booking a domestic holiday this year. In stark contrast, 79% of respondents have no intention of booking any international travel this year.
More than ever before, UK hoteliers need to focus on providing unique hospitality experiences for the domestic market and be proactive in their digital marketing efforts. Now is the time to invest in your digital strategy and ensure your hotel is prepared for the recovery.
Hoteliers need to refocus their marketing efforts on personalisation as the guests you will be reaching out to will know your property, know your area and will have high expectations from peer reviews.
If your hotel needs a digital marketing agency to support you through the recovery please reach out to a dedicated member of the team.