Twenty-fourteen was a banner year for hotel bookings. In fact, in July alone, there were 113 million room nights sold. This is the single strongest demand month ever. The challenge with this rise in bookings though, is that while hotel group business is up, construction of new hotels is less than it has been in previous years.
Additionally, one of the largest hotel chains, Marriott International, announced a new hotel cancellation policy which went into effect January 1, 2015. Under Marriott’s new policy, rooms must be cancelled by 11:59 p.m. local time on the day prior to arrival. If a room is cancelled after that time, travelers will incur a no-show bill, which is usually the cost of one night’s stay. It is important to note, however, that Marriott franchise owners have the ability to opt out of this change and keep the previous cancellation deadline of 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival.
Marriott is not the first hotel to revise their cancellation policy. Many hotels have implemented a more strict 24, 48 or even 72-hour cancellation deadline. Bottom line: always review and read all hotel cancellations policies before booking so as to avoid unnecessary additional costs.