Strategies and Solutions for Hotel Overbooking Nightmares
More bookings is good business. Isn’t that right? Well, not always. Any hotelier’s greatest and unpleasant nightmare is the overbooking of hotel rooms. What follows next can be damaging to the reputation of your hotel, adding to the revenue loss. You may have to accommodate the irate guests on other hotels at higher costs. In any case, unhappy travelers often choose to mention their plight on popular review sites (e.g.: TripAdvisor). Which is why, hotel overbooking is a calculated risk that may lead to serious consequences. This can bring down the number of visitors in the long run. The new age traveler is well-read, well-informed, and can indeed make better decisions to avoid such hassles.
It’s often a challenge for small and mid-sized hotel owners to manage their room inventory across their official website and selected Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). While your hotel booking strategies include leveraging a large network of OTAs to improve sales figures; mismanagement can have a negative impact for the branding and revenue.
Could your customers care less about what happens behind the scenes? We’re afraid not.
Hotel Overbooking Problems and Why they Occur
- Managing multiple OTAs in a bid to avoid being with a single agency
- Tedious process of updating room inventory manually (manual errors)
- OTAs have no access to the latest room inventory details from your end
- Manually managing rates (seasonal rates, off-season, package deals, promotional offers, etc.) across various platforms
- Lack of time and resources to manage hotel bookings across various platforms
- Fear of wasted inventory and profits/loss (Allowing overbooking for increased revenue in case of no shows, or fear of zero revenue due to unused rooms.)
- Allotting more rooms to a particular agency without any assurance of room bookings
There can be many reasons apart from those listed above. Hotel overbooking is a common problem but brings with it immense stress for both you as well as your guests. The lack of a hotel overbooking strategy can directly impact your revenue if your primary aim is to avoid empty rooms. The fear of unused rooms can be detrimental for your business and reputation. Both situations are best avoidable but can be managed only with a strong hotel overbooking strategy.
How does any hotelier get over this fear of overbooking? Let’s go beyond the nightmarish situations such as relocating agitated customers to a new property, endless apologies, or offering freebies to guests, and most importantly, negative guest sentiment
Read on to take a quick look at hotel overbooking solutions that will put the spotlight back on your property.
How to Manage OTAs and Bookings
Ideally, a dedicated manager can render the entire hotel booking system into a smooth procedure. However, this is not practically feasible. Any hotelier would require multiple managers dedicated solely to this task. Besides, there would be numerous updates required if done manually.
This is when you will go for a Channel Manager.
What is a Channel Manager?
A Channel Manager automatically manages all your existing OTA channels with the available inventory and rates. It’s easy to update the prices, room availability and do much more with minimal fuss..
With a Channel Manager, you can –
- Utilize the potential market without any limits
- Display your current room availability status to all channels
- Update rates across all channels
- Track your sales channels easily
- Access built-in reports in a click
- Manage your bookings volume
- Maximize revenue without missing on sales
Hotel Overbooking Solutions: So, What’s Next?
While your Channel Manager allows you to manage the inventory and rates across multiple OTAs, you would need to enter the details and track the bookings manually at your end. Yet again, you face a hotel overbooking situation unless you have a team that works round the clock with complete efficiency to streamline the process. That would be a tedious process.
The best way forward is to use a cloud-based hotel management system that provides two-way real-time connectivity between your hotel reservations and the channel manager.. The cloud-based hotel booking system eliminates the need to personally manage your bookings on the channel manager. Using a hotel management system with a channel manager drastically reduces hotel overbooking problems.
How are you managing overbookings at your hotel? Do you have a solid strategy around this? Let us know what you think.
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