Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Location: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Borders
|Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:02 pm Post subject: Shorter notice bookings. But actual values appear to improve
|For several years, we have kept an beady eye on the value of bookings taken for each month and, each morning, I take the value of bookings fixed so far in the current month divide by the number of full days past and then multiply by the number of days in the month. This way, you can get an idea of the cost of sales and how good the year might turn out compared to last year.
After a frighteningly slow first two weeks this year, things perked up on the booking value front. January was down but February made up lost ground. March started off with a bang and, then, we had a quiet few days. Using the usual system, things were not as good as we had hoped. However, looking at the actual value of stays so far in Jan, Feb and March, the story is much better with about an 18% increase in income over this time last year.
Shorter notice bookings seem to be the order of the day. The reasons are unclear but could include:
Less economic certainty
Greater availability of cottages reducing potential disappointment due to lower demand in certain areas.
A change in niche market booking behaviours
An increasing supply of cottages to the market
The decline in the brochure market
People new to the UK holiday cottage market used to going abroad with new booking habits
There could be other factors. Although the first three months are looking better on the financial front, I am still a bit spooked by the way booking patterns have changed this year. It is easy to say patterns are constantly changing, but when you are spending thousand in advertising, getting it right is essential.
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