Availability fundamentals that help you recover bookings

Reading time: 6.5 minutes

Updated 9 months ago
It’s time to get ready

When it comes to welcoming back guests, it pays to be prepared. With early yet encouraging signs that travelers are beginning to plan and book again, we see that reservations are for the most part domestic or local. People all around the world are either booking last-minute as they feel the desire to travel again, or are planning vacations far in advance (up to 16 months ahead).

With all that in mind, we’ve collected our best tips and tricks to get you started on the road to rebuilding long-term success with Booking.com by offering the right availability in your calendar.

This can be summed up in three simple and understandable steps:

  • Set up your rooms (or units if you’re a home-type partner) in your calendar.
  • Load rates and availability for all your rooms or units.
  • Attach policies so guests can make informed decisions.
Rooms and units are your building blocks

Main takeaways: Receiving bookings starts with having all your rooms and/or units set up and available on your Extranet calendar. Take the time to get this right. While you set up your rooms to engage with your familiar guests (depending on who you are, this could be students, couples, families, and so on), always try to attract all types of travelers to capture the returning demand.

  • Make sure all rooms and/or units you have are added into the system. This is done by navigating to the “Property layout” or “Room details” sections, both under the Extranet’s “Property” tab.
  • You can also change your room types—and even room names—to better reflect what you offer guests.
  • Make sure you add (or remove) amenities and facilities so guests have an accurate understanding of what to expect.
  • Last but not least, we encourage you to tailor to families, because we expect them to play a very big part in the recovery of the travel and hospitality industry. The first step is to make sure your rooms are set up to accommodate children.
Availability and rates go hand in hand

Main takeaways: After you create a room or make your unit live, you must attach rate plans and set prices for guests to be able to book it. Without these in place, your listing won’t show up on our website.

Updating availability

  • Make sure you’re live and bookable. Your property may not be available after a long closure so make sure you re-open. 
  • To not miss out on potential bookings now that guests are traveling again, extend your availability beyond the very short-term to capture the rising demand.
  • We strongly recommend loading availability for both the immediate short-term as well as the future by adding clear available dates up to 16 months in advance. This way you’ll attract last-minute booking along with well planned out trips from your guests.
  • Learn and understand the types of rates available and leverage them based on your goals and inventory.
  • You can easily load your availability and rates by navigating to the Extranet’s “Calendar” tab under “Rates and availability” and following the steps outlined here. Pulse also offers ways of updating your rates on the go.
  • Last, if you are on other travel websites and use a connectivity provider (i.e. a channel manager), you can map your rooms or units to your desired provider and keep your availability synchronized everywhere at once.

Opening and closing rooms for certain dates

  • Depending on the type of calendar view you’re using (either list or month-view), you can follow the steps outlined here to open or close rooms in your calendar, so they’ll be available only during the specific periods you choose. This can also be done on the Pulse app.
  • Remember, while reservations are instantly confirmed, you can always block dates, either on the Extranet or on the Pulse app.

Occupancy levels

  • Your rooms and/or units must be set up to accept multiple occupancies—from a single booker to a couple, a group, or family—depending on your available beds and amenities. You can change this easily in your calendar.
  • Depending on occupancy levels, you can also select different rates based on how many people will stay in each room.
Policies tie everything together

Main takeaways: Policies bind everything together, so help guests decide which rates to book by choosing the right policies for each rate.

  • Whether you have one or multiple properties, changing policies and house rules is easily done on the Extranet. Simply navigate to the “Property” tab and click “Policies.”
  • The types of policies you can implement vary and can either be about your property or your bookings.
  • When it comes to booking policies, we strongly suggest considering the right cancellation policies to protect yourself against losses.
We’re here to help you along the way

The principles behind this guide are the foundation for a solid plan. If anything, remember this: Your availability is based on your number of rooms, the rates attached to them, and their policies – finding the right mix will help you stand out.

Above all, your experience, generosity, warmth, and hospitality will make the greatest difference to set you apart again.

With the world recovering, it’s now your turn. But you’re not alone. From all of us at Booking.com, we’re here on this journey with you, and we’ll rebuild together.

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