Coronavirus support: a message for you, our Connectivity Partners
The pace, scale and impact of the coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented effect on the world, our industry and our businesses. Given the unpredictable situation we all find ourselves in and amid global travel uncertainty, Booking.com is making responsible adjustments to its partnerships with both connectivity providers like you, and our mutual accommodation partners. To that end, we understand many of you would like to hear how this will affect you along with what we are doing to support you today, and tomorrow.
Impact on the Partner Programme
Partner Programme performance and points
It’s difficult to anticipate how the coronavirus crisis will influence long-term business performance. At present, we will not change the programme setup, but we will continue to monitor the situation and explore point compensation when there is more clarity.
Performance And Innovation Fund
The Performance And Innovation Fund was targeted around growth, so given the current limitations in demand, we’ll be freezing the Fund until we have a clear view of the impact of COVID-19 on our customers, accommodation partners and you, our Connectivity Partners. Those involved in the Fund have been informed separately.
All commercial incentive deals will be paused for the foreseeable future. Contractual obligations will be fulfilled and we apologise for any inconvenience. Please reach out to your Partner Business Manager for more details as required.
Other Programme elements
The quarterly performance ranking update, Booking.com and sponsored events, and our translations services will be on hold until further notice.
Impact on products and features
Our security team advises asking your Quality Security Assessor about the possibility of conducting the PCI assessment remotely. More information can be found here
In the current situation, some of our data might not be representative of normal user and property behaviour. This means certain advice provided to our properties via this API may not be an accurate representation of market reality. To avoid any false expectations, we have set a temporary black-out on the opportunities being delivered via the Opportunities API. More information can be found here.
Payments by Booking
In these extenuating circumstances and under Force Majeure, Booking.com is offering people travelling to or from certain affected areas impacted by governmental travel restrictions the option to change their dates of stay, receive a voucher issued by the accommodation for the amount paid by the guest (or a higher amount to the discretion of the accommodation), or cancel their reservation. This applies to reservations made prior to 6 April 2020 where guests are prevented from traveling to or staying at the accommodation due to COVID-19. Booking.com may process the refund to guests who choose to cancel reservations that used payments facilitated by Booking.com. In turn, in these cases we are asking properties to refund the virtual credit card payout they receive from us. Learn more in Partner Help.
Temporary changes to manage Date Modifications
As a temporary solution, partners will be able to change the dates of existing guest bookings (we expect partners to first align with the guest before changing the dates). By enabling partners to convert cancellations to modifications, we hope to minimise the impact of the current situation and reduce partners’ workload. We will also be giving guests more options to modify their own bookings. For more information, please refer to Partner Help.
Disabling of Reopen Closed Rooms feature
In normal circumstances, when a property has opted-in to the Reopen Closed Rooms feature, we’ll automatically respond to cancellations by reopening the room and updating inventory accordingly. However, with current regulatory guidelines and travel restrictions dictating property closure, this feature can be counterproductive - potentially creating non-compliance issues for partners (even if they have closed availability on our platform) and causing unnecessary inbound for our providers. To reduce this risk, we will temporarily disable this feature for all properties.
Strengthening the foundation
Advisory Board members told us that right now, time can be taken to prepare for when the crisis is behind us and demand starts to pick up. To help you be ready for that moment, the following tools and resources will set a solid foundation for supporting properties in their recovery.
Improve the quality of your connection
As always, our support team is available, now with even more focus on helping you improve the quality of your connection. And, if you’re Premier or Advanced you can request a product health scan and implementation advisory session to optimise the integration of our products and features. Please reach out to your Partner Business Manager to discuss how we can help.
Educate yourself and your teams
Take this opportunity to complete our third lesson of the Property Performance course - a deep dive into all of the products we offer to properties. Learn how to best advise your properties on Booking.com opportunities.
Use our new automated provider outage alerts service
We introduced push notifications which notify you immediately when we detect that your system is not working as it should be, so that action can be taken promptly. Please ensure you add emergency contact details in the portal to receive notifications of technology issues immediately.
Focus on API integrations
Booking.com is continually working on its plan to stimulate demand once the crisis has passed and it is safe to travel again - and key to this is helping partners like you to be ready too. We are preparing and improving our technology to optimise processes to give properties a better experience. To make sure you are ready, implement new API products and features such as the Opportunities API and the Payments Clarity Package - and earn more points in the process.
Explore availability settings and capabilities
Having the right availability settings in place for your properties will be critical once travellers start to explore the world once again. You will be contacted by your Partner Business Manager in due course to get more information about your current settings and capabilities so we can work together to prepare for this time.
- In light of the coronavirus crisis, we’re continuing to assess and closely monitor the impact of the situation on the Connectivity Partner Programme, and are working to adjust where needed to ensure it remains fair and beneficial for all
- A number of products and features have been impacted, with corresponding changes including temporary black-outs on high-demand dates inventory and payments opportunities
- Advisory Board members told us that right now, partners like you may want to invest in strengthening your foundation, preparing to best support your properties when the demand for travel begins to rise again