Overbooking is a common practise in hotels and other forms of lodging, especially during peak seasons. It aids in maximising hotel utilisation by increasing the number of occupied guest rooms at any given time. This can be extremely beneficial to the hotel, guests, and third parties, as it allows hotels to increase profits while maintaining competitive pricing. However, this practise frequently results in unpleasant experiences for guests. Consider travelling to another city and having to cancel your reservation because the hotel is fully booked. As a result, many hotels have strict policies regarding overbooking, requiring additional information from potential guests to help determine if they are suitable as new guests. However, even the best precautions aren’t always sufficient. That is why it is critical for all hotels and other accommodations to understand the best practises for preventing overbooking and what to do if it does occur.
Preventing Hotel Overbooking
One of the most important ways for hotel owners to prevent overbooking is by utilising property management systems and other forms of technology (PMS). Hotels and other types of lodgings can utilise software solutions to monitor their reservations and estimate the number of expected guests, thereby preventing overbooking. This solution can also assist hotels in monitoring cancellations and adjusting booking schedules accordingly.
Next, acquire a Hotel Channel Manager, a piece of software that will aid in integrating all Online Travel Agencies (OTA). If one of the OTAs undergoes a change, Channel Manager will make the necessary adjustments to room availability and rates. The software can be integrated with the PMS to increase the efficacy and precision of the data collected, thereby decreasing the likelihood of overbooking.
Rebuilding Guest Confidence After an Overbooking
If a hotel encounters an overbooking situation and must turn away some guests, it is essential to follow the correct protocol to regain lost guest confidence. First, hotels can contact guests as soon as an overbooking situation occurs, informing them of the situation and their available options. As a way of apologising for the inconvenience caused by the overbooking situation, one option is to offer a gift card to the hotel’s restaurant or gift shop. In addition to helping guests find new accommodations, hotels can also recommend other nearby hotels. If the overbooking situation involves reservations made through a third-party booking service, the hotel can assist guests in contacting the company and providing evidence that they had no control over the circumstance. This can aid in restoring a guest’s trust and prevent them from leaving a negative review of the hotel.
The Bottom Line
It is common for hotels to overbook, but there are ways to avoid it. At the time of booking, hotels can request specific information from guests, such as the number of people travelling to their destination and the number of rooms required. They can also monitor reservations in order to anticipate guest arrivals. If a hotel is overbooked, it is essential to communicate with guests and assist them in finding alternative accommodations.