No-Show in Hotel: How to Handle and Reduce

-Updated on 20th July 2022-

A No-Show is defined in the hospitality industry as a person or guest who does not arrive where and when they should be at a hotel or motel and makes no explanatory contact.

A No-Show can be someone who arrives several hours late, causing confusion (and possibly additional work for receptionists!). Staff would have needed to know where the hotel stood with the booking before the guest's arrival: should they keep the room available for the original interested party who made the reservation, or should they free it up for walk-in guests or other people looking for a place to stay overnight or even longer? But you know what people say, prevention is better than cure.

Today, we will discuss how to handle and reduce no-shows in hotels. For this, we divided the article into the 3 steps on how to handle no-show cases in hotels and 5 ways you can take to reduce no-shows.

3 steps to handle no-shows in hotel

3 Steps on How to Handle No-show Cases in Hotel

  1. Attempt to contact them

    If your guest fails to appear, make every effort to reach out to them. It's possible that they didn't show up for a legitimate reason. There are times when emergencies occur, and if it is a true emergency, they may not have had a chance to reach out to you. Attempt to contact them, either speak with them or leave a message to remind them of the reservation.

  2. Access the reason why

    From the data you gathered from the customer, analyze what was the reason that resulted in the no-show case. If they are prone to canceling at the last minute or failing to show up, there may be a perceived or actual gap in their expectations of what you have to offer them. These expectations can be divided into several categories. Take a step back and think about each one. Determining the underlying perceptions can assist you in getting to the bottom of the problem and dealing with it.
  3. Ask if they want to reschedule

    Always request a reschedule in any case. This may seem obvious, but if your emotions get the best of you, you may forget this is an option. While you're on the phone with them, or if they left a voicemail/text/email, contact them as soon as possible to request or propose a new booking reschedule. It never hurts to ask, and it may be all that is required to keep things moving with that guest.

Now that you know the three essential steps to handle a no-show case, you should learn how to reduce these cases from happening. Here are 5 ways you can apply to reduce no-show cases. 

5 ways to reduce no show cases

5 Ways to Reduce No-Show Cases

  1. Collect deposit upon booking

    An advance deposit is used to guarantee a reservation by collecting a portion of the payment in advance while also acting as an additional layer of protection against fraud. A good rule of thumb for hotels collecting advance deposits is that it should be equal to one night's stay and deducted from the total amount at checkout. If you want to apply this to a higher level of effectiveness, make deposit payment compulsory during peak times of the year. If a guest wants to reserve multiple rooms, you should also require a deposit in advance. All in all, always collect payment prior to arrival. This can ensure the customers show up since they already made payment. Make sense right? Guests who have made a payment normally will show up.

    You can watch the video below to see how Softinn PMS can help hoteliers in collecting payments automatically.


  2. Impose a firm cancellation policy

    Include a well-structured cancellation policy in your hotel reservation process and clarify it to your guests. The policy must be guest-friendly while also protecting the interests of your hotel. Make sure that customers are held accountable in the event of a no-show. A stricter cancellation policy can benefit both your hotel and your customers. It also reduces bogus bookings.

  3. Send automated reminders

    When you maintain communication with your guests, you provide them with a more personalized experience. Set up your message to let them know you're looking forward to their visit. Invest in digital hotel booking software that is easy to use on mobile devices. Set up automated emails and SMS messages to send reminders and updates about upcoming trips and deals.

  4. Offer discounts and deals

    Validate your customer's reservation and provide a discount. Customers who book early will receive special upgrades or deals. This makes you appear more trustworthy because you reward your customers with lower rates. You can use multiple types of promotions for this. You can offer bonus points if your hotel provides a loyalty program. For customers who booked directly with you, on the other hand, you can give out special incentives with discounts at your hotel’s restaurant or bar, and even provide special cut-off prices for their bookings.

  5. Work on guest data and insight

    Data contains a wealth of information. Furthermore, much of this information is likely to be readily available to an organization. Hotels can gain incredible customer insights by leveraging relevant, qualitative data. With this information, hotels can direct their marketing efforts toward profitable customer segments, efficient channels, and sophisticated marketing strategies. This approach increases turnover and streamlines operations; y focusing investment on tried-and-true methods, hotels can reduce overhead and maximize net profits by focusing investment on tried-and-true methods. Invest in a CRM for your hotel.



No-shows are and will remain a part of the hospitality industry. It is critical to value your relationships with your customers to avoid this. Build stronger relationships with your customers and mutual respect, and you'll be surprised at how punctual they can be.

If you are looking for tips and tricks on how to manage the hotel as a front desk, or you are a business owner that would like your hotel staff to be trained as a good front desk, here is the Ultimate Guide to Hotel Front Desk for you to download (free download). This e-book includes a list of Dos and Don'ts, effective phone calls and WhatsApp scripts, a guide to follow-up payment, and many more tips and tricks. 

You're reading a blog compiled by Softinn. We're a hotel-technology company with the mission to make hotelier work easier. Do subscribe if you enjoy reading our blog or you may interact with us on our Facebook Page.

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