- Hotels in Lower Saxony may reopen from May 25th, hotels in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will follow from May 28th. Bavaria’s accommodations will open again on May 30th.
- However, not all Pentecost holidaymakers will be able to start their booked trip: Because hotels are only allowed to rent 50 to 60 percent of their rooms, some bookings have to be canceled.
- Here, hotel operators tell how they decide which guests to cancel.
Many travel-loving Germans had hoped for a long time: Hotels may reopen in the popular tourist regions on the North and Baltic Seas as well as Bavaria to suit Pentecost holidays. The prime ministers of the federal states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bavaria and Lower Saxony announced this on Monday and Tuesday.
Many hotels in the regions therefore experienced a real booking surge on Tuesday. The hotelier Rolf Seelige-Steinhoff told NewsABC.net that he had received around 400 booking inquiries by evening. The hotel manager manages the hotel chain Seetelhotels with 16 hotels on Usedom. On the relevant booking sites such as Booking.com, one accommodation after the other was booked out every minute.
As nice as this news is for hotel managers, it now presents it with another challenge: The easing of the corona measures stipulates that the hotels may open to all guests again, but only a maximum of 60 percent of beds in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania allowed to rent. In Lower Saxony, this occupancy limit is 50 percent.
Many hotels are already fully booked at Pentecost
Tobias Woitendorf, Managing Director of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Tourism Association, says that many accommodations in popular regions have long been fully booked, especially at peak travel times like Pentecost. As a rule, the occupancy rate at Pentecost is 90 percent on average, continues Woitendorf. As a result, many bookings have to be canceled again. “There are some hotels that had a occupancy rate of more than 60 percent before the relaxation and now have to cancel many bookings above this limit. Even if it is of course not nice, ”says the head of the association.
This is also the case with the Seetelhotels. “Now we have the dilemma that we sometimes exceed the booking capacity of our hotels on popular travel dates,” says Seelige-Steinhoff. In this case, his team first calls the guests and tries to find an alternative date or to rebook customers to another of the 16 Seetel hotels. The booking would only have to be canceled if there was no other solution. Then customers get their money back.
Which guests or reservations are canceled is regulated at the Usedom hotel chain according to the “first come first serve” principle. “The guests who booked first have the privilege,” says Seelige-Steinhoff.
Tip: call before booking
To make sure that the hotel you want to book really has enough capacity to accommodate you, you should ideally call before booking or inquire by email. Many insiders would now also book directly with the hotel via telephone and more, instead of using other booking platforms, business insiders learned from industry circles.
Smaller hotels, such as the Nordischer Hof in Ostseebad Kühlungsborn, regulate the new situation as follows: “We no longer rent family rooms, but only double rooms. As a result, we get on well with the occupancy rate of 60 percent, ”said a hotel employee. So far no bookings had to be canceled or canceled. However, fewer families with children can book the hotel. You have to rely more on holiday apartments.
The operators themselves do not yet seem to know how the large hotel chains deal with the new capacity limit and possible overbooking. Inquiries from business insiders remained unanswered by many large hotel chains. In many of the houses, operations had been reduced to a minimum, and many accommodations did not even know when they would like to open again.