What does full booking mean?

  • Jul 09, 2024
What does full booking mean?

Full booking means that all the rooms in the hotel or most of the rooms in a particular section of the hotel have been sold out for a particular time or day.

The term full booking is familiar with the hotel and hospitality industry because it refers to a situation whereby all the rooms in a hotel are taken and there is no availability of other rooms. It implies that any available rooms in the hotel have been sold out and there are no other available rooms that can be sold for the date or period in question.

According to the normal definition, a hotel is said to be fully booked if the occupancy factor stands at 100%. This often occurs in the course of the busy seasons, festive occasions, occasions among special events, and many times hotels that are located in places that attract a lot of visitors. Some key things to know about full hotel booking: Some key things to know about full hotel booking:

1. The rooms are fully booked for a certain period

When a hotel is fully booked it only means that all the spaces for renting rooms have been sold out and there are no more rooms left unoccupied to fit other customers. The rooms themselves will not even be available for rent, even the worst rooms for rent, once full booking status is achieved. The status of the room availability is as low as it is possible – there are no free rooms left.

This is an indication that the demand is very high and the supply is low, which is a sign of scarcity. In the same way, even if people cancel they give their reasons later the rooms are booked by the waiting lists and advanced reservations.

2. It's Usually Temporary

The fact that hotels are fully booked may suggest the massive number of people visiting the facility, though it is not always the case in the long run. However full booking can only be obtained when the occupancy rate of the hotel is high, a situation that doesn’t occur most of the time unless the hotel is small and experiences consistently high demand for its services.

For instance, beach hotels may reach their full occupancy during the summer holidays as city hotels during big conventions and events. However, the same hotels may have opened for other guests when the business is low or during other times of the year. This is because full booking status is normally associated with fluctuations in tourism related to seasonal changes, such as the high season and the low season.

3. Higher Room Rates

The principle of demand and supply economics comes into operation when there is a situation of scarcity and in the hotel industry, it is when all the rooms are occupied. Whenever the number of available rooms for occupancy is full, hotel owners will opt to increase the price of the rooms to justify their high prices.

It can be raised uniformly or the approach of differential pricing can be implemented to charge more for the particular categories of rooms and particular days, which are considered to be peak. Hotels’ aim to gain the most possible revenue when they can accommodate many guests who are willing to pay.

4. Longer Minimum Stays

To reduce the number of visitors who use the hotel as a transient or those who make a one-night booking, the hotel may increase the minimum nights for booking when the booking is full. For instance, check-in could be for a minimum of 5 days against the traditional option of 2-3 days during busy seasons. This way more rooms become available for the extended duration of visits.

5. No Guarantee Availability

Fully booked status means that guests can not be certain that they will receive confirmed reservations each time they choose the rooms and dates. Hotels can place clients on a waiting list and only confirm reservations if and when the space is available after the cancellation of some other clients.

6. Booking Early is Advised

In this regard, guests planning to visit places that are likely to experience a huge turnover in visitors have to book their hotels in advance to avoid being locked out. Recently, it has been better to plan and book from 6 months to 1 year to ensure the availability of the rooms.

Many hotels use a system that only ‘guarantees’ the rooms for a short time before allowing the unconfirmed rooms to go on the market. Advantages of early bookings include; enabling the guests to get the hotels’ advance purchase rates before such hotels get fully booked.

In what circumstances is a Hotel likely to be 100% Occupancy?

It is important to gauge seasonality and the patterns of a particular location to be able to determine when hotel booking is likely to reach its peak. Some typical situations when hotels are almost always fully booked: Some typical situations when hotels are almost always fully booked:

  • Weekends, especially New Year, Christmas, and Thanksgiving holidays
  • Major celebrations and celebrations
  • The major events such as conventions, trade fairs, and music concerts.
  • Beaches are a common holiday destination during the summer.
  • Ski season in the mountain resorts
  • Large-scale sports activities –The Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, and so on
  • Disasters, hurricanes, snowstorms, and other calamities that bring scores of emergency personnel to a particular location.

A full booking report for the hotel is checked daily and it is a key figure that represents the current status of the rooms’ sales and demand volume. It is also important for hotels to understand when they can become fully booked to plan operationally in a manner that will facilitate the provision of services.

Fully booked means that every room in the hotel has been let out and so when an organization overbooks it means that they have made bookings for all the rooms in the hotel in addition to the actual bookings they have made for their guests.

However, no matter how fully committed sometimes hotels get into the unfortunate situation of overbooking where more guests arrive than the number of rooms available. This happens when:

1. The workers of the hotel fail to count the figures well and as a result, some rooms are sold more than once.

2. This occurs when large groups book a bulk of rooms but so many people show up.

3. It is an indication that guests overstay their booked time, meaning that the provided facilities were quite suitable for them.

When an overbooking situation emerges:

Some hotels will attempt to locate an available room in another nearby hotel to accommodate the guests.

Rooms like ballrooms may be changed to become ad hoc guest rooms.

This is usually the case if the guests arrive when the rooms are available and check out later and at a higher rate.

Last resort much may have to take the guests for a walk and send them packing to other hotels.

The guests who have been requested to shift their rooms or who have not been granted their preferred accommodation may be given rebates or free stays to compensate them.

This causes a loss of reputation when overbooking is not done properly. Hence, hotels ensure that they do not encounter it by engaging in confirmation calls, non-guarantee clauses, accurate electronic tracking, and selective under-selling of accommodation units.

Ethical View of Overbooking

Although often used to attain 100% occupation, conscious overbooking does not sit well with consumer organizations.

Overbooking means selling twice what they have in stock to offer in essence what hotels have to offer. It is an indication of a deflection of a promise made and/or refusal to provide services for which guests have paid.

Hotels should therefore purposefully undersell rooms at a moderate level rather than overbook with much more than 100 percent occupancy. Overbooking to improve profits is detrimental to the extent that customers develop negative perceptions and attitudes towards the business.

That briefly indicates the main points of concern related to the meaning of full hotel booking, when it occurs, how hotels operate in situations of high demand, and some of the ethical concerns connected to the practice of overbooking. This simple task of properly forecasting the demand for space and appropriately scheduling hotel rooms to match this demand is one of the most difficult revenue management tasks faced by hotel managers all over the world today.

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