Downturn In Bookings As Last Minute Trend Increases

Tourist Information Centre in Hugh Town

Accommodation providers are reporting a downturn in bookings compared to last year and, from this year’s experience, 2012 will bring more reliance on last minute bookings rather than guests securing accommodation months in advance.

Julian Pearce from the Hugh Town Tourist Information Centre says last Christmas, the islands appeared to ride the storm with bookings coming in at the normal level but Scilly is starting to follow the national trend with guests making a decision at the 11th hour.

Sophie Hughes says it’s difficult to work out how different things might be this year because they don’t have data yet to make the comparison.

The New Year trade has also dropped off over the last few years and Sophie thinks this could be because of the lack of accommodation and activities available at this time of year.

Julian says we might learn from Cornwall, which has done a lot to improve the offering throughout the year, creating a year-round destination. That’s been especially successful for the domestic short break and ‘stay-cation’ market.

But Sophie says visitors also seem to be far more cautious about what they spend with less disposable income.

That means they might not go out every night for meals, or buy souvenirs.