Tuesday 10 March 2020 12:48 pm

Coronavirus: Hostel firm Safestay suffers spike in school cancellations

Hostel operator Safestay has warned that it has suffered a sharp drop in bookings and a growing number of cancellations as fears over the Coronavirus outbreak ramp up across Europe. 

The firm said that group bookings from schools and colleges have been cancelled.

Some countries including Italy have temporarily closed schools to stop the spread of the virus, and international travel has dived as people stay home to avoid the outbreak. 

Safestay, which last month reported a strong start to 2020 before the outbreak spread, said it would reduce flexible costs where possible to offset the dip in bookings. 

In February, before coronavirus worsened, the operator said it had plans to “grow substantially” in 2020, and said that first quarter performance had been “very encouraging”. 

In a trading update this morning the company said: “We have experienced a material reduction in new bookings over the last week against our expectations and there have been a growing number of group bookings from schools and colleges which have been cancelled or postponed. 

“It is too early to say what the full impact from Covid-19 might be in the current financial year as it is not known how long the virus will continue to impact travel and spending patterns in Europe and the UK.”