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Managing advance bookings from 2016

The bookings referred to in this article are those requested by many of our customers well in advance of the following year. Quite often, requests for holidays are made before the property’s owner has confirmed whether it will even be available for the following year.

As is to be expected, many guests choose to return to the same property on the same dates year after year. Others, particularly those with very specific requirements, try to get ahead of the crowds by pre-booking a property that will suit their needs.

The question has long been, “how do we manage these?” We have always strived to look after previous guests as much as possible by allowing them first refusal on the same property for the same dates next year. But, by waiting to hear whether previous guests intend to rebook for the following year, it is becoming increasingly clear that this alienates new customers that are trying to book the very same week; custom that we work so hard to attract in the first place.

Another huge drawback with this system is that it necessitates a delay in opening general availability until we have received confirmation from pre-bookers.

So, having given the matter considerable thought, for 2016 reservations and beyond we will be giving everyone an equal chance to reserve a holiday at any time they wish, a system that we believe will result in achieving the maximum number of bookings per property.

Customers will have the option to make reservations years into the future if they wish, with confirmation (and payment) pending availability of the property and rental price, something that in future years we hope to finalise by mid-July of the prior year.

After 25 years of providing holidays to some incredibly loyal guests, some of whom not only book every year but also the same property multiple times a year, please be assured that we will be identifying and informing these customers that the system will be changing, giving them adequate notice to reserve their weeks before the system opens entirely next summer.