overbooking - walking a hotel guest

Many hotels struggle to achieve a perfect sell-out – and often avoid overbooking to evade the ire of the front desk. The bane of any front desk manager’s existence? The walkers. After all, walking a guest is never an extremely pleasant experience for any hotel (or any guest). But within the Sanctuary of Revenue Strategy, it’s often considered a necessary evil.

Consider this all-too-common scenario: A comic book convention is taking over your city and you’ve been sold out for over two weeks. There’s not a single room left within a 60-mile radius. Your forecasted revenue numbers for the week are completely killing last year’s actuals. But as the morning reports rolled in, your hotel only finished at 96% occupancy opening day.

Now you and Lucille could fly off the revenue handle, or you could see an opportunity to sharpen your tools and technology and re-polish your overbooking strategy. The practice of overbooking weaves art into science to calculate risks against their rewards – and today’s advanced revenue technology helps you analyze and produce decisions for a customized overbooking strategy that’s built for your hotel.

Below are some considerations and insights your revenue technology can provide to maximize your strategic overbooking opportunities every week:

  • What is the expected transient wash for each of your market segments?
  • What is the expected group wash? Are you expecting typical or atypical wash patterns? If a group is expecting atypical wash, does their history or any market intelligence give you an opportunity to adjust your overbooking to accommodate for it?
  • Is there market compression that will make it harder and more expensive to walk a guest? If so, should your overbooking allowances over that time frame be more conservative than normal? Or is the compression internal, and walking a guest is easier and you can afford to be more aggressive?

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