Earlier this year the Hilton hotel chain made some changes to their cancellation policies, testing a set fee for all reservations cancelled any time after the booking had been made. Although we don’t work with big chains like Hilton we were interested in their future plans to give guests the option to select the amount of flexibility they would like with cancelling their booking.
‘If you want total flexibility, there’s a price for that. And if you want a better price, you’re going to have less flexibility.’ – CEO of Hilton Worldwide Chris Nassetta.
It’s heartening to see that even one of the biggest hotel chains in the world faces the same problems as the smaller independent accommodation sector. Hilton believes that because of the rise of new technologies, guests have become accustomed to being able to make a booking, cancel that booking and re-book with another company. This is something they feel strongly about challenging, as it has a damaging effect on hotels everywhere.
This resonates at eviivo, as we know that many of the small independent hotels, guest houses and B&B’s who make up our customers can really lose out when a guest cancels last minute.
But what can small, independent hotels like you do?
We can learn a lot from Hilton’s pricing experiments and in this case we completely agree that guests should pay different rates according to how flexible their booking is. The average percentage of bookings that get cancelled in the UK is 22%, which is pretty high, so it’s important to protect your business. Our recommendation would be to have a non-refundable rate and a refundable rate but price them differently. In fact we discovered that when customers are presented with both options, a third will book the non-refundable option, locking in that booking. Both rates serve their purpose, the former will lock in your booking and the latter will fill up your rooms quickly.
And eviivo can help! We can help you set up and list multiple cancellation policies with a great deal of flexibility, and you can manage them all in one simple to use place. Click here for a free demo about how eviivo suite can help you.