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Trends Want to increase bookings during Covid-19? Better review those cancellation policies.

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photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

 Feb 15, 2021

While we love to roll up our sleeves and dig into the data ourselves, we get just as excited by our peers in the travel industry who do the same and find their own collection of fascinating, actionable insights.

Our friends at PhocusWire are well known for this and their analysis of a recent data set from Sweden is a perfect example of why.

With the weight of the last year on our collective shoulders, there is clearly demand to get out of the house a bit. But with Covid-19 making it hard for guests to feel confident about anything more than a few days or weeks ahead, these potential lodging guests face a tricky conundrum.

  • Risk booking a room they may not be able to use.
  • Or save for a future, more confident, booking.

Rightfully, any lodging provider who doesn’t currently offer free cancellations is going to balk at the idea of doing so, but what they found was this:

Properties that offer a full refund for cancellations get both a higher volume of bookings and higher average revenue per booking.

Interestingly, from the data set they were digging in to, only 25% of listings offered free cancellation but these listings accounted for 50% of all bookings.

It’s a great analysis and one you should definitely take a closer look at if you’re trying to turn more lookers into bookers sooner than later:

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