by Mark Albert
WASHINGTON (TVR) – Cancelling a date with your hotel is getting more expensive—and some travelers are threatening to take their business elsewhere.
Marriott International, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has tightened its policy, now requiring most guests to cancel at least 48 hours before arrival or be charged with a no-show fee.
The change applies to its hotels in the Americas, including Starwood brands which it recently purchased, but not for Design Hotels and Marriott Vacations Worldwide brands.
Hilton Hotels and Resorts is reportedly set to follow with its own 48-hour policy later this month.
Many properties used to allow same-day cancellation before amending their policies several years ago to one day in advance.
Marriott says it is now going to two days prior to arrival in most cases due to a “significant number” of rooms that go unsold because of what it calls “last minute cancellations.”
“The revised policy allows us to make rooms available to guests that would have otherwise gone unoccupied due to a last-minute cancellation,” a Marriott International spokesperson told The Voyage Report.
Survey: Business Travelers Will Walk Over Cancellation
But if a new survey is any indication, many business travelers, who frequently change plans last minute, are not happy with the more restrictive policies.
Nearly six in 10 business travelers—59%—surveyed by the Business Travel Coalition said they would book away from Marriott properties because of the new cancellation policy.
The poll, released Tuesday, was conducted before reports that Hilton would match the 48-hour cancellation rule.
The Coalition accused Marriott of “a huge overreach” by instituting the rule change, which it called “particularly burdensome.”
“[M]any feel the new policy is merely a money grab,” the Coalition said in its release.
Marriott has more than 6,100 properties in 124 countries and territories, according to the company.
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