Light at the end of the tunnel? UK hotels see a 53% jump in direct turnover in February as guests look beyond lockdown

Hotel booking data suggests that guests are forging ahead with hotel bookings – despite the ongoing uncertainty around the end of lockdown, with room night bookings up by 19% and a 53% increase in turnover from direct bookings. 

Data taken from a 2-week period – the 1st of February 2021 to the 17th February 2021 – shows that there has been a 19% increase in room nights booked, indicating guests are already looking beyond lockdown to when the hospitality industry officially reopens.  

Using data from more than 4,000 hotels around the world, Profitroom, a leading provider of hotel marketing services, is able to pinpoint booking trends and give hotels insight into guest booking habits and preferences, while also producing UK-specific data.  

Further data gathered looking at a comparison of a year-on-year performance suggests people are also looking to get away for longer, and are happy to book more expensive packages. The average length of stay having increased by 48%, jumping from 2.1 days on average to 3.1 days – a trend Profitroom predicts will increase considerably as soon as the official greenlight for reopening is given.  

Samantha Williams, UK Market Owner at Profitroom, commenting on the data, said: “This time last year, although there were fears about the emergence of coronavirus, few people anticipated the true scale of the pandemic. Consequently, people were still booking hotel stays and summer breaks in February 2020 with confidence. Of course, in February 2021 though we’re still in national lockdown with hotel stays presently off limits. Yet it seems, despite this, consumers are confident enough that summer holidays are going ahead to carry on booking. Given the toll of months of lockdown though, it’s hardly surprising that people are keen to get away – and we imagine many are champing at the bit.”  

Samantha continued: “The fact that people are booking longer breaks also isn’t that overly surprising. Having spent months at home, those who can afford to do so are understandably looking for a longer time away. And this is something we expect to increase significantly as consumer confidence surges in the wake of any official Government go-ahead. The huge positive for hotels though, is that it looks like business is already very much on the up – and we urge everyone in the industry to get prepared for a rush of bookings.”  

Further data from the firm highlighted that hotel turnover for direct business is already benefiting, with an average increase already seen of 53% in February. An analysis of year-on-year data confirms we are seeing an average daily rate increase of 25% as people are buying more expensive packages and staying longer.  

Samantha Williams said: “Hotels, having suffered for so long, are likely to see a big jump in revenue thanks to people wanting to treat themselves post-lockdown – be that by adding extras and partaking in experiences, upgrading their room choices or simply booking longer stays. Hotels should be preparing themselves for high demand and we encourage everyone to focus on their processes in anticipation of this - while ensuring that their booking engines are open now and ready to take bookings.”