New Guest Behavior Brings New Cancellation Policies
As a result of the current pandemic, traveler behavior is changing and it is important that we also adapt to these changes. Nowadays, travelers are worried about unpredictable travel bans and restrictions and prefer booking properties with more flexible cancellation policies. If you choose a more flexible cancellation policy rather than the standard strict policy your property becomes more attractive to today’s travelers.
At Bookiply, we have learned that allowing homeowners to choose their preferred cancellation policy helps increase booking conversion and reduces the number of empty nights in their calendars.
Up until now, Bookiply opted for the most host-friendly policy on each channel. For example, if a booking made through Holidu was cancelled up to 30 days before arrival, homeowners kept 25% of the booking fee, and for later cancellations, they kept 100% of the booking fee.
Below you will find the cancellation policies we offered in the past for each channel:
*No changes for Airbnb, although now you can choose among other options for this channel.
From now on, homeowners will be offered different options and can decide for themselves on their preferred policy. This can benefit their listing in several ways:
- A more attractive cancellation policy makes a property more competitive. This can lead to more than twice as many bookings.
- Even with more flexible policies, homeowners can still keep part of the money if the booking gets cancelled.
- Flexible cancellation policies generate more bookings in advance, meaning that homeowners can better plan their revenue stream.
Bookiply recommends its homeowners to choose a moderate cancellation policy. Properties with moderate cancellation policies receive 2x more bookings compared to properties with strict cancellation policies. Selecting a more flexible policy increases the competitiveness and attractiveness of a property for travelers who are more cautious when booking due to travel restrictions.
The Impact of Choosing a Flexible or Strict Policy
Travelers are planning holidays at shorter notice. Instead of booking 30 or 60 days before departure, they are making reservations only a few days in advance. Anyone booking now has no control over whether they will actually be able to travel or not and are likely to only book if they can receive a full refund. Offering the possibility of moving the booking to a later date without losing money or applying credit to the same amount for future stays can give travelers peace of mind.
Note: According to VRBO, their “Relaxed” policy converts on avg. 2.4x better than their “Strict” policy.
Choosing a Policy
To learn how to choose your preferred cancellation policies, you can check out the following video. In this video we show where you can find this new section ‘Cancellation Policies’ in the Bookiply tool.
Go ahead and change your cancellation policies, and if you have any more questions, you can reach out to your account manager.
Do I Have to Do Anything?
We recommend you to update the cancellation policy for each channel and move to a flexible one. You will be able to choose from several policies.
If you would like to activate a new channel at any time, you will need to set the cancellation policy before you can publish your property. If you do not change anything, a strict cancellation policy with updated conditions will automatically be applied today.
You can easily change policies any time in the “Cancellation” section in the Bookiply tool. You can learn more about the exact conditions and how to apply the policies on our blog. Switching cancellation policies can take up to 24 hours to be reflected on the various distribution channels.
What Happens to My Bookings?
The policy configured at the time of booking will always apply. This will be displayed in the booking details. If you switch to a new policy, this will only affect bookings made after the change. Changing will not impact your payouts or the price offered to travelers. If a booking is cancelled, the conditions of your chosen policy will apply.