Once you secure a booking from a prospective traveler, the last thing you want to think about is cancellation. However, travelers today are going to need you to have a flexible cancellation policy in place. They know that in these uncertain times, anything can happen. They will want to know that you will be flexible and understanding should they not be able to embark on your tour experience on their chosen date.

Fortunately, there is a way to strike a balance between offering flexibility and ensuring stability for your tourism business. These tips will help you create an effective cancellation policy:

Adjust Your Pricing Structure to Allow for Flexible Cancellations

If you are going to design a new cancellation policy 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 cancelled are priced slightly higher than those that cannot. You can create tour products available at different price structures, allowing travelers to select a cheaper tour without the ability to cancel or a more expensive tour that offers more flexibility.

Implement Technology that Streamlines Cancellations and Refunds

For tour operators, the process of cancelling tours and refunding customers their payments can be cumbersome, which is why many put no-cancellation 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 cancellation policy.

Set a Reasonable Time Frame for Cancellations

Most travelers know that you are not going to allow last-minute cancellations, 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.

Consider the Resources Required for Your Tours

Sometimes, your ability to create a flexible cancellation 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 cancellations. In the event that it’s difficult to accommodate a full refund or cancellation, you can offer customers the opportunity to reschedule their experience with you.

Establish a Clear and Consistent Cancellation Procedure

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

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

Cancellation 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 cancellation policy for your tourism business, begin your free trial of the Rezdy booking software today.

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