The cancellation rate for U.S. vacation rental bookings are typically around 15% to 20% according to data analytics company KeyData Dashboard. This year, that percentage has soared to 70% to 80% for April bookings due to Covid-19.
The rate of cancellation has declined since, although it is still higher than last year, as guests who would have canceled have already done so and new bookings were aware of the Covid-19 situation when they booked.
With so many things in flux these days related to quarantine and travel, near term bookings – reservations within 30 days – were stronger than those bookings with longer windows.
In late-March to mid-April, cancellations skyrocketed regardless of the booking window, which tracked with the height of the quarantine measures imposed throughout the country.
Now, we are seeing a greater correlation between the length of the booking window and cancellations. According to KeyData Dashboard, the cancellation rate for reservations made 30 days or more before arrival is around 80%, but reservations made within 30 days fell to around 20% in mid-April and have remained steady.
Average booking windows do vary regionally in the U.S. in a normal year, but that has been exacerbated by the different policies adopted by states to combat Covid-19. For shorter booking windows (30 days or less), cancellations in Southeast U.S. and Western U.S. track similarly. For longer booking windows (more than 30 days), travelers to the Western U.S. were less likely to keep their reservations compared to travelers to the Southeast U.S. where state and municipal policies appear to be more relaxed.