Supply Course

Lesson 3: Restrictions – impact, management and best practices

In lesson 3, you’ll find out how restrictions impact your properties’ supply. Learn how effective management of restrictions across your portfolio can improve your properties’ visibility in search results on the Booking.com platform.

Use of restrictions by Booking.com partners

Of all the restrictions that our accommodation partners use, the majority are applied by Vacation Rental partners.

While we know some partners have operational needs that restrictions can support, we’ve also learned through partner research that around 50% of the Vacation Rental partners surveyed would ease their restrictions if it enabled them to get more bookings.

We see a big opportunity to better educate partners on how to optimise their use of restrictions in order to improve their overall performance.

Impact of restrictions on connected properties’ supply

Restrictions can affect traveller search results in three different ways:

  1. The property doesn’t appear in certain search results, for example because the property has set a three-night minimum length of stay restriction and travellers are searching for one- and two-night stays.
  2. The property’s visibility in the search results is reduced, for example because the property has set a restriction requiring reservation at least one day in advance and travellers are searching for accommodation they can check into the same day.
  3. The property doesn’t appear in search results, no matter what travellers are searching for. We call this scenario ‘unbookable due to restrictions’, and it results in zero bookings for accommodation partners and reduced choice for travellers. A possible cause for this is that the property has set a three-night minimum length of stay restriction, they already have a booking from Monday to Thursday but no bookings on Thursday or Friday, and then they receive another booking beginning on Saturday. This means that Thursday and Friday become ‘unbookable due to restrictions’, and the property will never appear in search results for those days.

The minimum length of stay restriction leads to the vast majority of blocked supply. We see significant percentages of properties not appearing in search results because of the length of stay travellers are searching for. This creates a mismatch between property preferences and traveller searches, resulting in needs and expectations not being met on either side.

Our extensive partner research shows that 64% of all surveyed connected properties would be willing to ease their restrictions for Low Demand Dates, and 59% would do so because of unsold inventory. This shows that accommodation partners are likely to take advice about easing restrictions when it can help their business – they just need the right guidance.

More travellers booking last minute demonstrates an even greater opportunity for accommodation partners to reduce their minimum advance reservation restrictions in order to capture this demand.

Nearly a fifth of connected accommodation partners, including almost half of connected Vacation Rentals partners, don’t show up in travellers’ searches for one-night stays due to length of stay restrictions.

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More lessons in this course

Rates and availability
Education

Lesson 2: Availability settings – good practices

In lesson 2, we introduce basic availability terminology, including concepts such as rates, inventory and restrictions. You’ll also learn how properly setting up these availability basics will lead to a better supply flow for you and your properties.
Advice
Education

Lesson 4: Best practices and actionable advice

The first three lessons introduced you to the supply flow, availability basics and restrictions. In lesson 4, you’ll discover actionable supply advice that can help you and your properties increase visibility and ultimately attract more bookings.