How to turn dreaded last-minute bookings into an opportunity

Last updated November 9, 2023

Last-minute bookings and changing client accommodation can be a bit of a problem, especially if you’re not prepared for them. However, there are a few ways that you can turn them into an opportunity, rather than a burden.

It’s every travel agent’s worst nightmare: the super urgent hotel booking made at the last minute. These are the bookings that come in at the eleventh hour, causing chaos and confusion and throwing your whole routine out of sync. However, what if we told you that these last-minute bookings could actually be turned into an opportunity?

Firstly, let’s identify why last-minute rush bookings can be a problem. For starters, they disrupt your planned schedule and can throw off your resources. You may not have the time or the capacity to handle changing client accommodation or an urgent hotel booking, leading to potentially dissatisfied customers. Furthermore, these bookings may not be as profitable as those made in advance, as you may need to allocate additional resources or work overtime to fulfil the request.

However, with the right approach (and a little bit of help), last-minute bookings can be an opportunity to build customer loyalty and increase revenue – plus a chance to cash in on those rush booking fees.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of these urgent hotel bookings:

  1. Be flexible

    When customers make last-minute bookings, they are often in a bind and need your help urgently. This is your chance to capitalise on last-minute hotel bookings while showing that your company is flexible and can adapt to their needs. Instead of turning them away, embrace the opportunity to showcase your customer service skills. Offer them options and work with them to find a solution that meets their needs.

  2. Upsell and cross-sell

    While last-minute bookings may not be as profitable as advanced bookings, you can still find ways to increase revenue. Aside from charging booking fees, one way to do this is by upselling and cross-selling your products or services. For example, if a customer is booking a hotel room at the last minute, you can offer them a suite or a room with a better view for an additional fee. Chances are a rush accommodation booking also requires an urgent transportation provision such as an airport transfer – this is another opportunity to suggest additional services. You could even arrange a meal to be ready for them as soon as they arrive. The opportunities are plenty.

  3. Streamline your processes

    While last-minute bookings can be an opportunity, you want to make sure that you are in a position to make the most of them. It may help you to streamline your processes by using a platform that allows you to find the right property quickly. Quick answers are key when you’re facing a last-minute booking. You don’t want to waste time looking for a property that may not even be available. Using a platform that can provide quick answers will help you streamline your process and find the right property quickly without adding to your logistic burden. That way, you’ll know who you can rely on when the going gets rushed!

  4. Partner with an accommodation specialist

    When you’re managing last-minute hotel bookings and handling stress as a travel agent, it’s important to find a reliable accommodation partner. Global Accommodation can help you find the right hotel quickly, so you can take advantage of last-minute bookings. With our experienced team, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible rate and capitalising on the rush-fee. This way you can tackle the next one stress-free with confidence and peace of mind.

Let us help you turn last-minute bookings into opportunity

In conclusion, last-minute rush bookings don’t have to be a dreaded problem for travel companies. By embracing flexibility, upselling and cross-selling, improving processes and partnering for success, you can turn these bookings into an opportunity to build customer loyalty and increase revenue. Remember, it’s not about avoiding last-minute bookings altogether, but rather, how you handle them that matters. With the right approach, last-minute bookings can be a valuable asset to your business.

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