What is the meaning / definition of No-Show in the hospitality industry?
If a guest fails to arrive on a certain date to fulfil a booking (as all so often happens!) and does not cancel; that does not necessarily mean the hotel will lose money. No. Hotels can cover themselves for this eventuality by integrating into their pricing structure something called a No-Show fee. That’s right, in the Hospitality Industry, a person who does not arrive where and when they should at a hotel or motel, and makes no explanatory contact, is called a No-Show.
In fact, a No-Show can be someone who arrives on the agreed date, but is hours late, creating confusion (and possibly extra work for Reception staff!). Prior to the guest’s eventual arrival, staff would have needed to know where the hotel stood with the regard to the booking: should they still leave the room available for the initial interested party who made the reservation, or free up the room for walk-in guests or other people looking for a place to stay overnight or perhaps even longer?
Although no hotel likes cancelled reservations, when a prospective customer contacts them to withdraw a booking, the hotel at least knows where they stand. In this circumstance, the canceller may or may not be charged a cancellation fee, depending upon hotel policy.
Where a cancellation fee is charged (generally to the value of the first day of the reservation), it is usually because the person who made the initial booking failed to notify the hotel of their cancellation in enough time prior to the agreed date.
City hotels across the world normally only charge a first night cancellation fee, as their location means there will be higher demand for rooms; however, in some instances, a hotel that cannot so easily achieve full occupancy may decide to charge to the value of the entire pre-booked stay. This is more common to hotels in exotic locations, than those offering city breaks.
Examples of No-Show polices at different hotels:
1) Hotel in London:
Cancelling Your Reservation
- You may cancel your reservation for no charge until February 22, 2016 (1 day[s] before arrival).
- Please note that we will assess a fee of 250.00 GBP if you cancel after this deadline
- If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card.
- This fee equals 1 night of your room charge plus tax (for the first night of your reservation).
2) Hotel in Geneva:
- In case of No-Show, 100 percent of the first night will be charged.
3) Hotel in Vietnam:
- If cancelled or modified after 7 days before date of arrival, 50 per cent of the first night will be charged. In case of No-Show, 100 per cent of the first night will be charged.
4) Hotel in Barbados:
- If cancelled or modified after 7 days before date of arrival, 50 per cent of the entire stay will be charged. In case of No-Show, 100 per cent of the entire stay will be charged.
Ultimately, when dealing with No-Show situations, such decisions are down to hotel management, who will usually simply refer to the hotel’s cancellation policy.