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Top 5 Ways to Prevent Overbookings In Your Hotel

February 08, 2024
04:00 PM

Hotel overbooking is a significant challenge that demands proper solutions and approaches to avoid negative reviews. Hotel business owners or managers must prevent overbookings. 

In September 2023, hotel occupancy rates in the United States were at 66% compared to last year. To compensate for no-shows or cancellations, hotels offer more than their available rooms.

Hotels may use overbooking to compensate for reduced occupancy. But, there is a risk that the hotel will actually be overbooked, and guests will have no room to stay. Specific problems resulting from such a move include the following:

  • Poor customer experience;
  • Customer frustration, and
  • Negative reviews.

Thus, it’s essential to prevent risks associated with overbooking, and hotel management should avoid using it to boost occupancy.

How Online Hotel Bookings Improve Occupancy Rates

To effectively manage bookings, use a Hotel Booking Plugin for WordPress.

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Overbookings In Your Hotel

#1: Set Minimum Days of Stay

One key strategy hotel businesses can implement is setting up the minimum number of days a guest can stay.

A recent study revealed that cancellations cause a loss of up to 40% of On-The-Books revenue. Thus, hotel staff should gain insights into past data and trends that led to such incidents. Hotel businesses can study patterns in guest behavior and other crucial factors that result in cancellations.

The number of overbookings has also become synonymous with sudden or last-minute cancellations to no-shows. 

Establishing minimum days of stay requirements is essential in mitigating potential setbacks and negative results. This helps align the hotel’s preferred reservation quota with its available capacity, which reduces the chances of unintentional overbooking during peak periods.

#2: Implement Deposit or Prepayment Policy

Hotel staff can take advantage of a deposit requirement or prepayment policy.  A deposit requirement, which is nonrefundable, encourages the customer to fulfill their booking or stay for their money’s worth.

A prepayment policy, which may or may not be refundable, assures the customer that only the amount that was actually used will be paid if they won’t stay for the whole duration of the booking. This is also advantageous for the hotel as they are fully compensated and don’t need to rely on the deposit requirement alone. 

Overall, having security deposits or prepayment options minimizes no-shows and limits overbooking guests during and outside of peak seasons.

#3: Offer Discounts for Early Bookings

This counts as both a marketing strategy and a practice in controlling the number of bookings coming through the website. The hotel services should encourage guests to make early reservations by offering limited promos and discount offers, especially in the form of vouchers and coupons

The concept of offering discounts to purchase or reserve services is a useful strategy. It results in a steady stream of online bookings at a controlled pace for hotels to properly plan and allocate resources.

#4: Implement Clear Cancellation Policies

Hotel services should provide clear communication and enforce their cancellation policies to guests, especially for late requests. The provision of cancellation rules would discourage last-minute cancellations and no-shows from occurring. These policies would make guests aware of potential penalties such as additional payments or fees.

EaSYNC Blog Aug. 2023 Streamlining Business With WordPress Booking Plugins

#5: Set Email Notification Alerts

Utilize email notification alerts from the online booking website in order to keep track of recent and upcoming reservation activity. Receiving automated alerts makes hotel staff more aware and informed about the latest bookings and requests. This will give them enough time to prepare and make timely adjustments to prevent any issue from potentially occurring.

Setting Up Hotel Overbooking Solutions

Overbooking can confuse customers and result in a poor business reputation. Overbooking prevention best practices include the following:

  • Setting up the minimum number of days of guest stays
  • Implementing deposit of prepayment policy
  • Offering discounts for early bookings
  • Implementing clear cancellation policies
  • Sending email notification alerts

These, and many other practices, are crucial considerations for hotel owners.

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