Could revenue and accounting departments be in for a challenge for 2021 bookings?

At the minute travel companies are releasing sales promoting a low deposit, fully flexible booking to secure their 2021 holiday.

With the current terms, your deposit is refundable (cash/voucher), previously this would have been non-refundable. As a result many consumers are willing to potentially book multiple bookings (to different destinations) on the hopes that they can get a great deal for multiple possible destinations by booking early, and then cancelling nearer the time of departure

No one knows what overseas destinations UK citizens will be able to go to in July, August or September, so if you’re prepared to lock up a deposit you can get some really good deals. Worst case you cancel and get a voucher. Best case you’ve saved £000’s by booking early when demand was low.

This strategy has limited risk, and from discussions, I predict possibly 20-30% of consumers are considering a similar approach. There has never been a time with such un-predictability with such low risk to book early and such a desire to get away and relax.

Although this is potentially great for the consumer, this isn’t great for travel operators. Like any booking systems in a low economic climate, we have to plan for cancelations, but this could be creating a higher number of cancelations than expected. There could be a higher number of cancelations this year for convenience, and as a result a knock on effect on hotel and plane utilisation.