What is the meaning / definition of Turnaway in the hospitality industry?
Sometimes, a hotel simply cannot accommodate a guest who has already made a reservation. Having to treat such a guest as a Turnaway can happen at any time of year, but this usually occurs during a certain period and for a compelling reason or reasons.
For example, a medium-sized hotel in Rome may have overbooked during an intensely busy period, such as when Masses with the Pope at the Vatican are soon to be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica, or in St Peter’s Square. The hotel has accepted more reservations than it has available rooms. But is this simply an honest mistake?
Part of a hotel’s Revenue Management Strategy may be to include deliberate overbooking – purposefully selling more rooms than it really should. This may seem a little strange, and can sometimes be understandably frustrating for prospective guests, but a hotel seeking to maximise revenue and capacity must ultimately seek to put its own interests first.
The reality is that all hotels suffer financial losses each year due to cancellations. Overbooking, and therefore having to treat some customers as Turnaways, is sometimes the only way that a hotel can protect itself from the financial damage that cancellations can cause.