Restrictions, the deliberate limitation of the guest’s options, sounds bizarre in a service-orientated industry such as the hotel industry. But in reality, restrictions are a powerful tool with both advantages and disadvantages for hoteliers and guests.

NB: This is an article from Hotellistat, one of our Expert Partners

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Before looking at the significance of restrictions and delving deeper into the subject matter, this article will first explain the different types of restrictions and look at the practical application options.

Restrictions refer to specific rules, conditions, or limitations that are set by hotels to control their business operations. These restrictions can cover various areas, including pricing, booking conditions, availability of rooms and services, and general capacity restrictions.

Reasons Why Restrictions Can Be Useful In Hotels

At their core, restrictions are supposed to make operations more efficient and maximize revenue by optimizing the flow of bookings and the use of resources. This benefits not only the economic aspects of the hotel but also the guests. Restrictions can improve the perceived quality of service by providing a pleasant and relaxing experience. For example, if restrictions are used to make the hotel facilities less crowded, this leads to a more relaxed atmosphere, and long queues at check-in, check-out, or the breakfast buffet can be avoided. Some examples and reasons of how restrictions can be beneficial for a hotel can already be seen in the table above. To shed more light on this, we will look at two scenarios below:

Imagine that a hotel offers very flexible cancellation policies that allow guests to cancel their booking without charge, even at short notice. In the event of bad weather, many guests then tend to cancel or postpone their city trip at short notice, as they do not have to fear any financial consequences. However, with appropriate cancellation policies, the hotel can ensure that guests think carefully about their bookings and plan in advance, which stabilizes the occupancy rate and thus the profitability of the hotel.

Another useful use case can be found in the application of the “Closed to Departure” restriction. Suppose a hotel expects a large number of departures on a certain day, whether due to events or seasonal fluctuations. In this case, the hotel could decide to set a “Closed to Departure” restriction for this day. By limiting the maximum number of departures, the hotel can ensure that sufficient time and staff are available for room cleaning to guarantee a smooth check-out process with the usual quality of service. There is also the possibility that a potential guest will extend their stay by at least one more night when booking, which can close booking gaps. In summary, restrictions not only help to increase operational efficiency, generate additional revenue, and reduce staff workload but also improve the overall guest experience. This in turn helps to improve the hotel’s reputation, which also has a positive impact on future bookings and revenue.

Read the full article at Hotellistat