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More and more people make more reservations at the same time, in different places

Planning a vacation means choosing a period and a location. A new trend is gaining ground in the global tourism market, but it could be dangerous because it could lead to higher prices or a change in flexible cancellation policies. Specifically, for fear that the problems caused by the pandemic could ruin their vacation plans, more and more people make several reservations at the same time, in different places. In some situations, when I go to one place, I don’t cancel the others.

Thus, an increasing number of people book two or even three holidays at the same time, such as a trip to a particular country or a cruise. By planning several trips in different geographical areas, travelers can choose the one that will be most comfortable during departure.

Travel storage is “a fairly new trend,” said Misty Belles, general manager of a luxury tourism network. The trend was felt in May and June, amid the vaccination campaign in the US and the reopening in Europe, and grew during the summer, when the new Covid-19 variants began to disrupt travel plans around the world, said Joshua Bush. , CEO of a Pennsylvania travel agency.

By early August, more than 50% of Americans had canceled or changed their travel plans due to the Delta variant.

Are we traveling according to plan A or plan B?

Joshua Bush told CNBC that a client of the agency booked a cruise from Athens to Rome in October and a 10-day trip to Hawaii during the same period, the second option being the backup due to problems in Greece.

Mexico and the Caribbean are also on the list of Americans’ backup plans.

For her part, Misty Belles told CNBC that a tourist booked a trip to Portugal before reopening, with Florida as a backup plan. Portugal opened on time, and the traveler was able to make the desired trip and postponed the second one towards the end of the year.

The trend is favored by the fact that cancellation policies have remained very flexible, allowing tourists to make these choices.

Apparently, everyone has something to gain: people do their best to find the best holiday option, and travel agencies can make more money. However, hotels, cruise ships and travel agencies may lose out when bookings are canceled. In this context, some travel agencies allow simultaneous reservations only for loyal customers because in this case there is also an ethical issue.

Many tourists also choose to postpone one of their vacations, rather than cancel it.

Joshua Bush said the trend could lead to hotels changing flexible cancellation policies.

“Part of the game”

Jason Friedman, director of a tourism consulting firm, explained that while this trend of simultaneous bookings can be annoying for hoteliers, this is also part of the game: “If a hotel wants to extend a cancellation policy without penalty to 24 for hours, then there is nothing wrong with a guest reservation and then cancellation under this policy ”.

But customers must also follow the rules, because they must also accept cancellation fees and non-refundable payment policies, when they exist.

What are the pitfalls of simultaneous travel

Tim Hentschel, co-founder and CEO of HotelPlanner, explained that storing travel could be risky.

“Travelers need to know that, unlike when they book three or four restaurants and decide at the last minute what they want to eat, simultaneous bookings can make airline and hotel prices worse. to grow for everyone. Unlike restaurants, hotels and airlines increase their prices as occupancy increases. ”

In his view, some hotels may start charging a non-refundable booking fee in advance, while others may waive cancellation policies to discourage people from making multiple bookings at the same time.

Hentschel pointed out that when deciding on a trip, tourists should not forget to cancel the others.

According to Joshua Bush, this trend will no longer exist when the pandemic ends.

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