Once you secure a booking from a prospective traveler, the last thing you want to think about as a tour operator is cancelation. However, travelers today are going to need you to have a flexible cancelation policy in place. Most people have had to cancel a holiday sometime over the past several years due to these uncertain times, so they know that unfortunately it could happen again. Customers will want to know that you will be flexible and understanding should they be unable to embark on your tour experience on their chosen date. Ultimately, businesses can avoid any potential problems or conflict by clearly stating their cancelation policy before the customer finalizes their booking. 

Australian Consumer law protects clients canceling a booking in the following circumstances:

  1. If the service is not provided with an acceptable level of skill and care
  2. When the service is unfit for the purpose they asked for
  3. If the service is not delivered within a reasonable period of time in the case there is no predetermined end date.

Customers do not legally have to be refunded for services that they changed their mind about. However, it can be beneficial for your business to provide customers with a flexible cancelation policy that gives them the option to cancel their bookings within a reasonable amount of time. It’s important to remember that even if a customer does cancel for a genuine reason, they may still use your services in the future.

While customers have the right to cancel their bookings, you also have the right to ensure stability in both your work and income.

Fortunately, there is a way to strike a balance between offering flexibility and ensuring stability for your tourism business. These tips will teach you how to create a tour cancelation policy that is both effective and flexible.

Adjust Your Pricing Structure to Allow for a Flexible Tour Cancelation Policy

Rezdy tour cancelation policies pricing structure

If you are going to design a new cancelation policy for your travel agency that allows travelers to have more freedom when booking with you, you may want to make adjustments to your current pricing structure. If you look at the hotel industry, which is famous for its flexible cancellation policies, you will find that most rooms that can be canceled are priced slightly higher than those that cannot. You can create tour products available at different price structures, allowing travellers to select a cheaper tour without the ability to cancel or a more expensive tour that offers more flexibility.

Implement Technology that Streamlines Cancelations and Refunds

Rezdy tour cancelation policies pricing technology

For tour operators, the process of canceling tours and refunding customers their payments can be cumbersome, which is why many put no-cancelation policies in place. However, when you invest in booking software that allows you to easily cancel a booking, refund a payment and reallocate your resources, you can design a flexible policy that benefits both you and your customers. Rezdy is an online booking software designed specifically for the tour and activity industry, and it is the ideal option for you if you want to create a flexible cancelation policy. If you want to learn more about how to incorporate this software into your business to streamline your admin processes, you can find out more here.

Set a Reasonable Time Frame for Cancelations

 Rezdy tour cancelation policies time frame

Most travelers accept that you are not going to allow last-minute cancelations, so it’s okay if your flexible policy has a deadline in place. In today’s climate, most travel experts recommend that you allow travelers to cancel their tours and activities and receive a full refund up to 24 hours in advance of the tours. A 24-hour notice allows you time to restructure your plans for the next day, but it also gives your travelers the confidence they need to book with you. Chances are, if a customer is going to have to cancel their booking, they will know within 24 hours. However, unexpected circumstances can always arise, so make sure you have a policy in place for customers who cancel their bookings within 24 hours. Will they need to be subject to a rebooking fee? Or will they only be refunded half of the cost? These are all important questions to consider when researching how to write a cancelation policy.

Consider the Resources Required for Your Tours

 Rezdy tour cancelation policies resources

Sometimes, your ability to create a flexible travel agency cancelation policy will be limited by the resources that are required for your tours and activities. For instance, if your tour experience requires you to partner with other third-party vendors in your area, it may be more difficult to accommodate cancelations. In the event that it’s difficult to accommodate a full refund or cancelation, you can offer customers the opportunity to reschedule their experience with you.

Establish Clear and Consistent Wording in Your Cancelation Procedure

Rezdy tour cancelation policies procedure

At the time of booking, your customers should know what your cancelation policy and procedure is. Some guidelines to consider for your cancelation procedure include:

  • Requiring customers to submit a cancelation request in writing.
  • Requiring customers to submit contact information when canceling their tours.
  • Requiring all cancelation requests to be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of the tour.

How to word a cancelation policy

Cancellation policies all look different, whether they be short and to-the-point, or longer and detailed. They can be included in your terms and conditions, or appear as a pop-up when a customer makes a booking on your website. For all of their differences, the telltale of a successful cancelation policy is one that is clear – both in its wording and its existence to the customer.

We’ve provided an effective cancelation policy template below:

Cancellation Policy: [Business name]

If cancelation is required, you are required to notify us at least [24 hours] prior to your booking time. Please note that cancelations made within [24 hours] will incur [a rebooking fee]. If [business name] is forced to cancel your tour due to reasons outside of our control, all prior payments will be refunded.

Cancelation policies are more important now than ever before, but you should know that it is possible to create a policy that still allows you to grow your business.

For more information about how simple it is to create and implement a flexible cancelation policy for your tourism business, begin your free trial of the Rezdy booking software today.

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