Vendors Avoid Overbooking

The best way to avoid overbooking on the Visit Rural platform is to have all your products and services exclusively listed on Visit Rural.

The advice below is suitable if you:

·         operate across multiple platforms


·         If you are not on any platforms, transferring from a manual system to Visit Rural

Multiple platforms:

If you have your own booking engine on your own website  or if you are listed on multiple booking platforms:

To avoid overbooking hotel rooms or tickets when listing them on multiple booking platforms, you need to implement a systematic approach and utilise technology to ensure that you maintain accurate and up-to-date availability. Here are some tips:

1.     Centralised Inventory Management:

Use a Management System: Invest in a reliable Management System software that can centralise your inventory and bookings. Many management systems offer channel management integrations, which help streamline inventory across multiple booking platforms.

2.     Real-time Updates:

Synchronise Availability: Ensure that your management system and all connected booking platforms are synchronised in real-time. Any changes in availability or bookings should instantly reflect across all platforms.

3.     Set Realistic Limits:

Set Buffer Times: For accommodation, consider implementing buffer times between bookings to allow for room preparation and cleaning. This reduces the risk of immediate back-to-back bookings.

4.     Use a Channel Manager:

Implement a Channel Manager: Employ a channel manager software or service that automates inventory updates across all booking platforms. This eliminates the need for manual updates and reduces the risk of overbooking.

5.     Monitor Bookings:

Regularly Monitor Bookings: Assign someone on your staff to consistently monitor bookings on all platforms. This person should be responsible for checking bookings and ensuring they align with the actual availability.

6.     Implement Allocation Management:

Allocate Rooms or Tickets: Implement allocation management within your management system. This involves setting aside a certain number of rooms exclusively for each booking platform, which helps prevent overbooking.

7.     Establish Booking Rules:

Create Booking Rules: Define booking rules within your management system to establish minimum and maximum lengths of stay, booking lead times, and restrictions on certain dates or room types.

8.     Close Availability When Necessary:

Manually Close Availability: If you receive bookings directly through your website or phone calls, make sure you manually close availability on other platforms to avoid overbooking during high-demand periods.

9.  Regularly Update Rates and Availability:

Update Rates: Keep your room rates and availability up to date across all platforms, especially during peak seasons or when making changes to your pricing structure.

10.  Train Staff:

Train Your Staff: Ensure that your staff is well-trained in using the PMS and channel management tools. They should understand the importance of accurate inventory management.

11.  Maintain Clear Communication:

Communicate with Visit Rural: If, in rare instances, overbooking does occur due to a system error or other unforeseen circumstances, promptly contact Visit Rural to notify affected customers to offer alternative accommodations, tickets or compensation.

12.  Use Automated Alerts:

Enable Alerts: Many management systems and channel management systems allow you to set up automated alerts for low inventory levels or when bookings approach maximum capacity. Utilise these alerts to take immediate action.

13.  Regularly Audit Systems:

Periodic Audits: Conduct periodic audits of your booking platforms and management system to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Address any discrepancies promptly.

14.  Have a Contingency Plan:

Develop a Contingency Plan: Plan for contingencies by having a clear protocol in place for handling overbookings. For accommodation bookings, this might include collaborating with nearby hotels to accommodate guests in case of emergencies.

By following these instructions and implementing a combination of technology, staff training, and best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of overbooking when using multiple booking platforms. Effective inventory management is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and the reputation of your hotel.

No platforms, transferring from manual system to visit rural:

If you do not have your own booking engine on your website or are not on any other booking platforms and you are taking bookings manually:

Transitioning from manual bookings to the Visit Rural booking platform can greatly streamline your booking process and enhance efficiency.

1.     Create an Account:

Sign up for an account on the Visit Rural online booking platform. Follow the registration process, which includes providing your hotel, experience or event details, contact information, and payment preferences.

2.     Set Up Your Property:

Once your account is created, access your Vendor dashboard and start setting up your property or ticketing information. Input information such as types, rates, amenities, and any policies (e.g., cancellation, check-in/check-out times). You can upload photos however, they need to meet Visit Rural’s publishing guidelines.

3.     Provide a link to Visit Rural on Your Website, Facebook page or other media your hotel is found on:

Contact [email protected] to send you our logo and a link for you to use on your website to your customers to ours, advertising to your customers they can book your services or tickets via Visit Rural.

4.     Train Your Staff:

Train your front desk staff and booking team on how to use your Visit Rural Vendor dashboard. Ensure they understand how to check bookings, manage availability, and address customer inquiries via the platform.

5.     Update Your Booking Policies:

Revise and update your booking and cancellation policies, if necessary, to align with the Visit Rural’s Refund and Cancellation Policy found at the bottom of the Home Page.

6.     Transition Existing Reservations:

If you have existing reservations made through manual methods, manually input them into the Visit Rural online booking platform, during a quiet time. Ensure that there are no double bookings during the transition.

7.     Promote Your Online Booking Option:

Inform your existing and potential customers about your new Visit Rural online booking option. Update your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials to highlight the convenience of booking online via Visit Rural.

8.     Monitor and Manage Bookings:

Keep your Visit Rural login open during business hours for constant and live access to your Vendor dashboard to manage bookings. Ensure that availability, rates, and policies are up-to-date. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and confirmations that you receive from Visit Rural on behalf of your customers.

9.     Gather and Analyse Data:

Utilise your Vendor dashboard’s reporting and analytics features to gain insights into booking trends, revenue, and customer behaviour. This information can help you make informed decisions to optimise your business’s performance.

10.  Provide Support to Customers via Visit Rural:

Make sure your staff is available to assist Visit Rural inform customers on your behalf who may have questions or encounter issues with the online booking process. Good customer support can enhance the customer experience.

11.  Stay Updated:

Keep abreast of updates and new features offered by Visit Rural. These enhancements can help you better serve your customers and manage your bookings effectively.

By following these instructions and effectively transitioning to Visit Rural’s online booking platform, you can streamline your booking or ticketing process, improve customer satisfaction, and maximise your business’ revenue potential.