With the help of well-built strategies, you can avoid overbooking in your hotel.
Overbooking can happen at two levels. One is room type overbooking another is overall hotel overbooking.
Managing bookings are still a struggle in many hotels. You may overbook your hotel by expecting some cancellations in the future.
But if your calculations are gone wrong then it affects your business badly.
It will harm your hotel’s reputation, causing a loss of revenue. Also, you may have to reallocate your guests to other hotels that cost your hotel.
Eventually, you lose your guests forever. Also, they will give bad reviews about your hotel on different sites.
So, to avoid this nightmare you must have strategies to avoid overbooking.
Strategies to avoid overbooking
Hotel overbooking is bad for your hotel business. It causes stress and disputes between you and your guests.
Consequently, ruin your hotel’s brand image and goodwill.
Here are seven strategies to avoid overbooking-:
Use of PMS(Property Management System)
There are chances of overbooking, particularly in small hotels. As most of them don’t process payments at the time of booking.
They even can’t do anything when guests cancel their booking at the last minute or don’t show up.
At this time, there is a requirement of the Property Management System.
PMS allows booking rooms efficiently and easily allows payment at the time of booking. Hence, hoteliers can enforce their cancellation policies.
Consequently, hotels can charge cancellation fees or amend the fee if guests don’t show up or cancel bookings at the last minute.
Avoid overbooking with use of channel manager
An integrated channel manager updates hotel occupancy rates across all Online Travel Agencies in real-time.
With a channel manager, you can easily track distribution channels and update rates across all Online Travel Agencies.
Thus, guests have accurate information irrespective of the channel manager they use.
Wrong details of inventory on OTAs leads to an inaccurate room number projections that are available for booking.
A hotel PMS that provides a two-way connection that connects channel managers with OTAs.
Thus, it helps to update room status to avoid overbooking. It makes sure all your PMS and OTAs have the same number of available rooms on them.
Check the list of guests arriving in your hotel for one night stays and those for a few days.
Ensure that there is a surety of arrival of guests, and the bookings are confirmed. You can call and message your guests to know their arrival status.
If their status is not confirmed, then give them some time to confirm their status. And, cancel their bookings after the expiration of the given time.
Partnership with other hotels
If your guests arrive and you have no rooms, you must have a backup of an alternate hotel where your guests can stay.
You have to partner with hotels with the same star level
Hence in the scenario of your hotel’s overbooking, you can send those guests to that hotel. This will save your hotel’s reputation and not affect your hotel business.
Maintain records of your exclusive guests so that you don’t send those guests to another hotel and arrange a room for them in your hotel.
Pool inventory Model
Meaning of Pool Inventory
It means distributing all your available rooms evenly across all sites including your own website. When an inventory is booked from any site then automatically that inventory is reduced from all other sites.
How it benefits your hotel
You can evenly distribute your hotel’s rooms information on websites.
A pool inventory model is useful to avoid overbooking problems. As it shows accurate details on all site confirmation or cancellation of bookings in real-time.
This model is useful for even room distribution and keeps updates of your room availability information.
Allow direct bookings
You can facilitate direct bookings and confirmation. Thus, it eliminates the chances of temporary bookings.
Also, guests will get instant confirmation of their booking.
You can do this by integrating your hotel’s website with a web booking engine and payment gateway.
Facilitate your guests to see your hotel’s room information on websites in real-time and allow bookings. After room reservation gives your guests instant booking confirmation.
Regularly update data and make decision
Decisions are to be made based on data.
If you sell more rooms assuming the availability of rooms in case of cancellation or no show of guests at your hotel.
Then there are chances of facing the issue of overbooking.
Analysis of the following data is important-:
- The total number of sellable rooms available.
- Total reservations confirmed.
- Receiving payments in advance. So, confirm future reservations.
- Analyze historical data and interpret no shows.
- Expected last-minute cancellations based on historical data.
- Analysis of historical data and expect bookings from walk-ins, OTAs, and other channel managers.
While statistics are a great way to estimate, you can’t rely on them because of daily fluctuations.
We can conclude that overbooking is an unfortunate circumstance that will create bad guest’s experience.
But with the help of some strategies and monitoring, you can avoid overbooking at your hotel. You must prepare proactively based on the hotel’s data.
Partnering with other hotels is also beneficial in case of unavailability of rooms and reallocating guests.
Using the channel manager, cloud-based Property Management System, etc. helps to avoid overbooking issues.
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