What is the meaning / definition of Walk In in the hospitality industry?
Sometimes, even though a hotel accepts a reservation from an individual, couple, family or group, it cannot actually accommodate them when they arrive on the agreed date! This is usually due to the hotel having full capacity at that time, confusion over a booking, or through the hotel utilising its Sell Through option. But, the good news for prospective guests, is that all may not be lost; at least, not quite yet!
Where no accommodation can be made available at a hotel, disappointed guests can sometimes be Walked to another hotel within close proximity. The two hotels may belong to the same national or international chain, making things easier from an administrative standpoint; or the replacement ‘substitute’ hotel may not be affiliated to the primary hotel at all: the two businesses are simply on good terms and try to help each other out whenever possible.
Note: Sometimes, the first choice hotel will cover the full cost of the found substitute accommodation elsewhere, and perhaps even the guests’ taxi fares to there.
Accepting Walk guests on behalf of another hotel is a typical example of cross-hotel cooperation. The guests may not be particularly happy about the proposed arrangement at first, but are usually glad to have the option at least of alternative accommodation for the duration of their holiday, rather than simply having to return home.