Businesses have faced many challenges during the pandemic, but now restrictions are being eased, a surge in holiday bookings is creating a new set of problems to overcome.
According to the travel firm, Tui, UK summer holiday bookings are up a fifth on pre-Covid levels – and with staycations still booming, businesses are struggling to keep track of outstanding leave and manage staffing levels.
With less staff available to maintain high service levels, businesses risk facing damage to their reputation and a loss of earnings.
In this blog we will look at the factors contributing to the surge in holiday bookings and how businesses can manage holiday entitlement effectively, to avoid the risk of closure.
Easing of restrictions
A relaxation of Covid rules, an easing of international travel restrictions and government testing requirements for travellers has meant people are growing more confident about travelling and are now booking holidays.
It is expected that many places would be fully booked at Easter. Tui has already confirmed 6 million bookings for winter and the summer, with UK summer bookings up 19% on the summer of 2019.
Covid restrictions and lockdowns have left a lasting effect, as many people accrued holiday entitlement that they were unable to use during the pandemic. 2022 is the year people are hoping to catch up, so it is important for businesses to get on top of outstanding holiday before it causes issues.
Fears over Omicron particularly affected bookings in November and December and with high cases of Covid, many people had to put their plans on hold. Now with fewer restrictions and less concerns surrounding the severity of Omicron, people are rebooking their cancelled holidays.
Staycations still booming
Research by Opinion Matters showed that 83% of people who took a staycation last year hope to do so again this year. This remains a big contributing factor to the surge in holidays being booked.
Whilst people were asked to stay at home during the pandemic, it gave many people the chance to accumulate savings that they would otherwise have spent.
This, coupled with the relaxation of Covid rules, has meant that long haul trips are particularly popular, with the Caribbean and Cape Verde being amongst the most booked destinations as people are eager to travel and treat themselves.
What does this mean for businesses?
With so many factors contributing to the surge in holidays being booked, it has made the sudden increase very difficult for businesses to manage. Without managing leave effectively, businesses face inadequate staffing levels, risk poor service and damage to their reputation, loss of profits and could even be forced to close.
What can be done?
LeavePlanner’s absence management system can help HR teams manage a surge in holiday requests. It’s a cost-effective, online time-saving tool that relieves the headache of managing staff absence.
Booking time off, approving staff leave and tracking various forms of absence couldn’t be easier! Reports can be viewed in real-time, giving businesses full control, allowing administrators to set staff leave limits and ensure there are no staff shortages.
To arrange a free 30-day trial, call 01252 636 070 or email email@example.com.