6 Tips to reduce last-minute cancellations and No-shows at your hotel

As a hotel owner, you’re striving hard to increase daily bookings and occupancy rates. However, things might go wrong. Priorities might change, and travel plans will get canceled. As a result, your guest will not show up or cancel the booking at the last minute.

The above-stated is not the only reason. Sometimes, guests will cancel their bookings just because they got better deals from your competitors or received poor responses from your hotel. Therefore, the reasons may vary, but you need to find ways to sort it out. Because, the more cancellation or no-shows, the more revenue you lose!

The impacts of last-minute cancellations or no-shows are,

  1. Low occupancy rates
  2. Lower revenue
  3. Hotel ranking drops on OTAs
  4. Extra work and stress

No-show or last-minute cancellations are a mighty problem that requires immediate attention. If you’re facing last-minute cancellations or no-shows often, try implementing the below steps.

1. Build a good cancellation policy

It is a must for you to have a strict cancellation policy in your hotel reservation system, and make it visible for your guests. Guests should accept the cancellation policy, refunds, etc. before making a reservation. They should also be aware of the deadline included in your cancellation policy. Therefore, if a guest cancels their reservation before the deadline, it can be sold again by making it available for last-minute bookings or direct walk-in. However, if the guest fails to show up or cancel the reservation after the deadline, then he/she is liable to pay you. By implementing this strict cancellation policy, you can even prevent fraudulent bookings. Therefore, building a good cancellation policy can reduce the impacts of last-minute cancellations or no-shows.

2. Use the length of stay restrictions

Restrict your guests’ stay length to reduce the last-minute cancellations and no-shows. Figure out whether your competitors are providing the length of stay restrictions or not. Few hotels will not accept one night bookings during the period of high demand. The longer the stay, the lesser the cancellation or no-shows will be.  This way, you can ensure higher occupancy rates of your hotel.

3. Offer discounts on confirmed/direct bookings

Offering discounts and better deals for confirmed/direct bookings can draw more guests to your hotel and at the same time, it will reduce your cancellation and no-show rates. Offers are irresistible, thus it lowers the chances of losing guests to competitors.

4. Send reminders about bookings

It is essential to engage with your guests during post-booking to build strong guest relationships. Keep in touch with your guests. Send personalized messages to your guests, plus attractive offerings of your hotel. You can provide information about local events and other important places to visit. Apart from this, it is equally important to send reminders on their bookings, and also to educate them on cancellation policy and deadlines.

These processes can also be automated with the help of the Hotel Management System so that your guests receive the right messages at the right time. Thus, it will help you to reduce cancellations and no-shows.

5. Implement Overbooking Strategy

Though it is not highly recommended, hotels can use this strategy to overcome the last-minute cancellation or no-show. However, it is challenging to face turn-away guests. Therefore, you need to have an alternative accommodation plan like shifting guests to a nearer property that can help you handle the situation better.

6. Analyze your performance

It’s important to look closely into your data to get better insights on cancellations and no-shows.  It is vital for you to reach out to your guests and identify the reason behind the last-minute cancellation and no-shows. Parallely, analyzing the performance of your booking channels can help you identify which channel or tourist packages generate higher cancellations or no-shows in your hotel, and help you make the right decisions.