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 in your calendar.
- Load rates and availability for all your rooms.
- Attach policies so guests can make informed decisions.
Main takeaways: Getting bookings starts with having all your rooms set up and available on the 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 ensure you capture the returning demand.
- Make sure all rooms you have are added into the system. This is done by navigating to the “Property layout” or “Room details” sections, both found 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.
Main takeaways: After you create a room, attach rate plans and set your prices to be enable guests to book it. Without these in place, your rooms won’t appear on our site.
- Make sure that you’re not “auto-closed” due to no availability in the past. This might have occurred as you reduced or even removed your availability as a result of government restrictions.
- To not miss out on potential bookings now that guests are traveling again, it’s very important to re-open and extend your availability beyond the very short-term and capture 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.
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.
- Your rooms must be set up properly to accept multiple occupancies—from a single person to couples, groups, families, and so on—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.
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 a single property or multiple ones, changing policies is easy to do 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.
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.