Global pre-holiday hotel cancellations increase due to Omicron – Trivago

US reopens air and land borders to travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19
FILE PHOTO: Marie and Ed Graham greet daughter-in-law Nicola Graham and son Ally as they meet their niece Iona, 1, for the first time after arriving from London as the United States reopens its air and land borders because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinated travelers for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 8, 2021. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson

December 14, 2021

(Reuters) – Concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant and new travel restrictions have led to a spike in hotel booking cancellations globally, online hotel search company Trivago said on Tuesday, threatens to undermine the fragile recovery of global tourism.

The company said cancellation rates have increased to 35% since November and holiday travel plans are down 10%, adding that most travelers are choosing domestic destinations.

The company did not say what the rate of cancellations before November is.

The Omicron outbreak, first reported in southern Africa, has led to a flurry of new testing rules and border closures, raising concerns ahead of the key Christmas travel season.

Many events ranging from sports and trade shows to corporate parties have been cancelled, which has also resulted in a slowdown in hotel bookings.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association has canceled its annual trade show, scheduled for Chicago next February, due to the uncertainty caused by the new variant.

US investment bank Jefferies on Wednesday canceled client parties and virtually all but essential travel after nearly 40 new COVID-19 cases were reported at the company.

Trivago says overall activity around holiday travel planning has slowed, growing by just 4% since the variant was discovered. By comparison, Christmas travel grew by 34.7% in the same one- to two-week period in 2019.

Last month, the company said it saw a 35% increase in search traffic in the week before Thanksgiving.

The company says US travelers are sticking to Las Vegas and New York as top vacation destinations.

“Like 2020, domestic travel is the preferred choice when consumers want to reunite with friends and family,” said Trivago.

International flight searches from the United States fell between 35% and 39% in the first week of December, according to rival Kayak travel website Booking Holdings Inc.

According to Kayak, they dropped about 25% just before Thanksgiving, a day before the World Health Organization named the new COVID-19 variant and said it could spread faster than other forms.

Concerns about this variant have grown after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a “tide wave” of new cases, with the country reporting its first publicly confirmed death in the UK. world by Omicron on Monday.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Sweta Singh, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta) Global pre-holiday hotel cancellations increase due to Omicron – Trivago

Caroline Bleakley

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