The world of travel is changing; you know it, we know it and so does Booking.com. Travel is reviving but in a new way. To keep the flow of vacations steady, previous rates and policies need to be re-evaluated to offer the best options for guests.
Booking.com has unveiled some new rate options that improve the guest experience while benefiting your vacation rental. We’re here to help you understand how and why you should implement these changes into your short-term rental business.
In light of the dramatic changes in the travel industry, Booking.com has adopted its policies and rates to fit the needs of hosts and guests. Three significant changes have emerged: the flexible, the non-refundable and the mobile rate.
Customers have always been drawn to flexibility, but this term now takes on a new meaning. Travelers are seeking flexibility in the terms, dates, and conditions of their trip. They want to be fully confident that if something changes, their booking can too. As a response to this growing desire, Booking.com has created a full flexibility rate plan.
With this option, you can increase demand for your property, boost your visibility, and meet the needs of your potential guests. The new one-day policy allows for guests to cancel up to one day before check-in. According to Booking.com, 73% of travelers who booked in April 2020 said free cancellation was the main reason they chose the property they did. Properties who opt for the flexible one-day policy can see increased visibility up to 23%.
Guests want options and by providing this, you will increase the likelihood of having your property booked. Although it’s one of the pricier plans, it is also the most chosen.
One of the biggest challenges faced recently for vacation rentals was the undoing of numerous holiday stays worldwide. As travelers called off their trips in the past year, many vacation rentals were left vacant. The last thing you want is for your vacation rental to sit empty when it was supposed to be booked. If you aim to reduce the number of cancellations for your property, then the non-refundable rate is right for you.
Lock in your reservations and give yourself some comfort knowing that those bookings are confirmed with this new rate. You can add Booking.com’s non-refundable rate to your existing rate plan with ease. Data shows that this rate plan reduced cancellations by an average of at least 9%.
If you’re marketing for staycationers, repeat customers, or clients who are confident about their travels, this might be the best option for your property. By offering a lower, non-refundable rate, you could attract guests with fixed travel plans while securing revenue for your vacation rental business.
The world has gone digital and travel is following suit. People are increasingly living their lives on the go and accomplishing tasks, like booking their holidays, on their mobile devices. To make the most of this trend, add a mobile rate!
Mobile rates help reward and entice those who are booking on their phones either through a web browser or the Booking.com app. The majority of bookings are done on mobile phones, so offering a special rate will grant you access to a large group of travelers.
Properties who offer a mobile rate get a special badge next to their name that appears in the search results, the property page, and during the booking process. This indicates to customers that you offer a competitive rate for mobile bookings and, as a result, can increase the number of reservations.
The discounts start at 10%, but Booking.com suggests a 15% sale to get the best results. By using a special mobile rate, you can increase your bookings up to 28%. That’s huge.
Advantages of implementing the new rates
After a hard-hitting season last year, short-term rental owners are eager to recoup some of the losses. Increased bookings are the obvious advantage to the changing rates, but there’s plenty of other benefits to consider.
The primary purpose of the non-refundable rate is to minimize the number of cancellations and there are ways to make the most out of this policy. For example, you can market your vacation rental to workationers by selecting the “work-friendly” option when setting up your listing or by including complimentary office supplies.
By positioning your vacation rental for travelers most likely to select this option, you increase your bookings while simultaneously reducing cancellations.
A swimming pool and minibar aren’t enough to make a property stand out anymore. Competition is fierce, and your vacation rental needs to quickly grab the attention of potential guests if you want to see a higher conversion.
An eye-catching website paired with unbeatable prices will quickly make your property rise to the top. When you add varied rates, such as a mobile and a flexible one-day rate, you widen the scope of your audience. When you market your property to different groups and offer pricing policies that cater to each type of traveler, you’ll grow your bookings and visibility.
Improve guest experience
One of the leading travel trends that emerged in 2021 was the desire for meaningful vacations. What does that look like? Connecting with loved ones, staying close by, and having high-quality, safe stays were some of the most cited requests.
Guests who are on the fence about making a booking might be persuaded by the one-day cancellation policy. This extra comfort could be enough for travels who are unsure and need the extra push to hit the “reserve now” button. Win over undecided guests by offering one-day flexibility. You’ll bring in more revenue with these bookings while also presenting better options for travelers.
Listen to your guests and see what they’re looking for. Do they want an off-the-grid location to work remotely or a last-minute getaway with the family? Knowing what your guests want is the first step in finding out what rate plans are suitable for your vacation rental. By offering prices that meet the needs of your guests, you improve the guest experience and keep them coming back again and again.
Travel is making its debut once more, but some adjustments must be made. Customers are now looking for alternatives for ever-changing needs. By offering multiple rates, like the one-day flexibility policy for those seeking added comfort or a mobile rate for millennial travelers, you can keep your vacation rental booked up.
Superb customer service is more vital than ever before. By giving your guests the freedom of choice, you can reduce your cancellations, increase client satisfaction, and ultimately grow your vacation rental business.
Make the most of your vacation rental business by connecting your Booking.com listings to your website using the Booking.com channel manager. Lodgify offers two-way sync, meaning that if someone cancels on Booking.com, it will be reflected on all the other channels you’ve connected to your Lodgify account.
Implement these new pricing options confidently knowing that Lodgify’s channel manager will automatically sync your calendar, bookings, and rates in one centralized dashboard.
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