Hotels are already ‘fully booked’ for Christmas vacations: report

Christmas tree and palm trees.
Christmas tree and palm trees. Photo credit Tom Dulat/Getty Images
By , KCBS Radio

Hotel and home rental bookings for Christmas vacations have skyrocketed this month. Some hotels said they’re already fully booked for the holiday season, CNBC reported.

It’s a stark difference from last September when bookings declined significantly. Travel analysts say vaccines have made all the difference.

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“As soon as people got vaccinated, they were booking their year-end activities,” said Tim White, creator of the travel blog Milepro. As a result, White noted a “spike” in holiday bookings at well-known hotel brands like Hilton and Marriott throughout the spring.

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White said the spring brought a “huge spike” in holiday bookings at major hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott.

Some travel and destination businesses have totaled more holiday reservations this year than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mohonk Mountain House, a resort 90 miles north of New York City, said reservations for December had jumped 60% compared to the previous three years.

Even search engines have noticed the uptick. For example, analysts said that winter vacation searches were nearly five times higher this summer than last year.

“Travelers are booking for the holidays earlier than ever before,” Similarweb travel manager Alisha Kapur told CNBC. “National parks … continue to win American travelers’ hearts, [but] Hawaii is the most in-demand destination.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige pleaded with travelers last month to stay away from the travel destination. Despite his plea, holiday bookings “skyrocketed” about 100% over Labor Day weekend, according to Vrbo. The home rental site estimates less than 20% of its inventory is available the week of Christmas.

Other top destinations include Lake Tahoe, Utah; Miami and Key West, Florida; Vail, Colorado; and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where vacation rental firms say winter reservations are up 165%.

Experts say the longer you wait to book a holiday trip, the more you should expect to pay.

Analysts say travelers are hopeful about 2022 and searching for vacations next year nearly twice as much as they did last year.

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