Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said the wave of booking cancellations that followed the initial bookings surge could yet have a negative impact on the hotel sector’s fragile recovery.
“The no fly zone that was in place for six days and the continuing after effects means many hoteliers are suffering with cancelled bookings,” said Barnard.
“The airport hotels in particular found that after an initial boost in bookings, many travellers decided either to find their way home by other means, or find other, cheaper means of accommodation.”
London airport boost
Despite this, separate analysis of STR Global data by Deloitte suggests that in the days after the lockdown hotels at London Gatwick and Heathrow airports posted some of their strongest performances so far this year.
“We estimate that the airspace lockdown generated additional revenue of around £500,000 per day for London hoteliers,” said Marvin Rust, hospitality managing partner at Deloitte.
“Hotel data is showing that the short term impact of additional revenue from passengers unable to leave, outweighed that of cancellations from travellers unable to get here.”
Longer-term, it has been suggested that continuing uncertainty around future volcanic eruptions may be a boon for UK hotels encouraging more Brits to holiday at home this year.