Handling emergency closures

Updated 7 months ago | 4 min read time

In the event of an emergency, you may have to close your property, cancel reservations and relocate guests. Here, we take you through the steps you will need to consider if you have to close temporarily. 

Our Force Majeure policy covers emergencies where it is/was impossible or illegal for guests to travel to or stay at properties they’ve booked – for example, during a natural disaster or a pandemic such as COVID-19.

What’s in this article

What to do if my property has to close temporarily

If an emergency or local government mandate means your property has to close temporarily, make sure you do the following:

  • Cancel any upcoming reservations for the period your property is closed – guests will be refunded unless you can arrange new reservation dates
  • Close your rooms or units on our platform to avoid receiving new reservations
  • Contact any guests who are scheduled to arrive during the closure to let them know they won’t be able to stay at your property 
  • If you can’t get in contact with your guests, inform Customer Service, and our team will attempt to follow up with those guests

If guests are due to arrive soon, their booking is cancelled free of charge and if you’re not able to find alternative accommodation, Customer Service can help. You must cover the cost if the alternative accommodation is more expensive, but we’ll always try to find something with similar standards and rates. If guests are booked far enough in advance, their booking is cancelled free of charge, but Customer Service won’t attempt to relocate them. 

In some regions, the local government makes us responsible for arranging temporary closures and/or restrictions on new reservations. In these situations, we’ll act on your behalf and keep you informed via email. 

Refunding bookings cancelled due to emergencies

Guests can request to cancel their reservations via their Booking.com account. You then accept their cancellation.

Guests can also request to cancel the reservation by calling or messaging you directly. In this case, you must cancel the reservation yourself in the extranet. Click Request to cancel booking in the Reservations section of the extranet. Once the guest confirms your request, the reservation will be cancelled – until the guest confirms the cancellation, the reservation remains active.

In emergency circumstances, guests will not have to pay to cancel the reservation, even if they had a non-refundable booking.

Relocating guests if my property is closed

If relocation is possible – for example, if other properties in the area remain operational – then you should find your guests alternative accommodation. Our Customer Service team can help with relocation, and they will also evaluate if we can waive relocation costs.

Contacting Booking.com for support

You can contact us for more information on emergency temporary closures. Use the dedicated phone number on the extranet or send us a message via your extranet inbox.  

Once the emergency situation has passed, you can find out how to reopen your property in this article

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