The cancellation of booking is a part of the business. Nowadays hotels are getting more bookings from OTAs. So, it is important to reduce the loss which is occurring because of OTA booking cancellation.
It is a big challenge for hotel owners to maximize these bookings. If a hotel is only dependable on OTA bookings then it is important to minimize this loss.
A canceled booking means you have lost an opportunity to earn revenue. Thus the conversion rate can be improved by decreasing the cancelation of OTA bookings.
Cancellation of a booking is a customer choice. So we can not interfere in this. However, by making a good strategy we can reduce this rate.
Reason for Cancellation of an OTA booking
To get more visitors on the portal, OTAs offer ‘book now and pay at check-in’ and ‘free cancellation’. It’s a very big reason why booking cancelation rates are high.
Because of these types of policies, customers make bookings in multiple hotels. When customers will be assured about their journey then they will cancel the rest of the hotel booking by keeping one.
Even some OTSs has started to charge a minimal amount for cancellation of bookings. However, it is not a solution to tackle this problem. Because of it, many hoteliers were left with unsold inventory.
I propose some approaches in this blog to reduce loss due to the cancellation of the booking.
Strategy formulation is important
You can not make cancellation rate Zero (0) but you can reduce it by the better plan. A better strategy will help you minimize the OTA booking cancellation.
Make a plan to decrease the loss occurring because of unsold inventory. You see that your entire inventory has been sold but you have suddenly left many rooms unsold.
You stopped direct booking by seeing this data. But now your hotel has many empty rooms. It is really very pathetic situation for the hotel owner.
Here are some ways which can minimize OTA booking cancellation.
Connect with your guest
While a customer books a hotel room on OTA then all data is shared with the hotel. Now You have contact details of your guests. Hence you can start building a relationship with your guest.
The hotel can connect with its guest after booking by using this contact detail. You can send details about your property on mail.
Free pickup facilities or free meals to them is also a nice idea. It will connect you with your guest. It can decrease the chances of cancellation of the booking.
If you are getting a cancellation request then contact your guest to know the reason for it. Try to solve that reason to save that booking. If they are canceling because of the high prices then offer them a discount.
OTA wise cancellation rate
It is important to know the cancellation rate of every OTA. You should analyze all the data to know in which season the cancellation rate is high.
Analysis of data will help you in making policies. So here I am suggesting you some strategies to decrease the cancellation of OTA booking.
1 Reform your cancellation policy
2 Provide discounts on direct booking
3 Send email reminders to hold customer with you
Reform your cancellation policy
It is the right of the customers to cancel a booking. But more cancellation affects your revenue. So by making a cancellation policy you may reduce the rate of the cancellation policy.
You can ask your OTA partners for not applying a free cancellation policy on your inventory. Hence keep your cancellation policy identical to all the OTA channels.
You can set charges to cancel a booking. For making a cancellation policy consider your hotel USP, online reputation, and ratings of your hotel. Do not form a policy which makes guest away from you.
Provide discounts on direct booking to stop OTA booking cancellation
It has been found in a study that the cancellation rate from direct booking is less than OTA booking. You should attract customers to your own website. For encouraging them you can provide discounts on direct bookings.
Many times customers cancel a booking because of the price. You can save that booking by offering them an attractive package or discounts.
Send email reminders to hold customer with you
It’s very important to establish a good connection with your client. It will show your sincerity towards your guests. For instance, by email, you can tell them to check your social media pages to create interest in your hotel.
Send a welcome email to your customers as you receive a booking. Be responsive and always available to assist your guests. Hence it will increase your credibility in the customers’ minds.
Start making connections with your guest as you receive their contact details. Send them a welcome email and ask their choice to personalize their stay.
Having a strict cancellation policy can reduce the rate of cancellation. Discounts attract customers. So offer special packages to them.
If you are looking for software to launch your hotel website then QloApps is absolution for your problem. You can manage all activities of your hotel by using QloApps.
For getting more information regarding QloApps write to us on our forum. Write your suggestions to reduce the rate of OTA booking cancellation in the comment box.