To entice consumers to book early, OTAs frequently advertise a free cancellation policy. Along with booking well in advance, the same tactic is used to encourage consumers to book multiple properties, which they can then choose from later. But this all comes at a heavy price for hotels. Guests are incentivized to book without worrying about whether they’re certain about their choice. After all, they can always cancel if they change their mind. Unsurprisingly, this tactic has led to notoriously high OTA cancellation rates. These rates vary significantly among the OTAs. For instance, hotels on Booking.com, (which heavily promotes their free cancellation policy), experience cancellation rates of around 40%. In contrast, hotels on Expedia (which doesn’t heavily advertise this policy) see a cancellation rate of about 20%. Overall, approximately one in five online hotel bookings are cancelled, causing major headaches for hotel revenue managers everywhere. On top of hurting a hotel’s bottom line, a property that relies heavily on OTAs for bookings will find it tough to make good revenue management decisions when so many of these bookings are cancelled. Fighting back against this issue begins with having a better understanding of the booking and cancellation patterns OTAs employ, and then using proper revenue and rate strategies to combat them. Here are five tips worth considering. Get the full story at Travel Tripper and SlideShare