Hi-- I have a property in Maui for vacation travelers. I have one cancellation today and two more probables. All would arrive in the next 30 days. Based on recommendations from HomeAway/VRBO and Airbnb policy these renters will get full refunds, a major loss to me.
IN my market, I look at it this way. If I’m always fully booked and not working to get repeat guests, then this would be a loss. But only short term.
But if I’m playing the long game, this is an opportunity for me to strengthen my reputation and develop loyal, returning guests. I learned during hurricane MICHAEL some powerful lessons. When others were holding firm and reminding guests they should have purchased travel insurance, I fully refunded payments and had personal conversations with each individual. I not only had nearly all of those guests book again, but many other guests in the area heard that I refunded when “their owner” didn’t, and so THEY booked with me in the future too. Social media threw around company and owner names right and left. I don’t ever want to be “that owner” that angers guests during a community disaster and ends up on the “naughty list” on all the social media forums.
This time I gave guests a choice between future credits or a refund, and surprisingly more than half asked to reschedule.
But that’s just my opinion.