It has been an unprecedented few months and we’re sure many of you have questions about bookings – both current and future. While the situation is changing, we will continue to update our FAQ to support you.
What do I say to a guest if they want to cancel their stay within the UK?
The UK government and devolved administration guidelines confirm that accommodation can open in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
If a guest needs to cancel a stay, we have recommended they get in contact with you to explore options, including the possibility of rearranging their booked dates. If they are not ready to commit to a future date, you could offer to credit their stay in gift vouchers (if this is something you offer).
What do I do if a guest doesn’t want to reschedule their UK stay?
If a guest does not want to rearrange their UK stay and is asking for a refund, you should recommend they contact their travel insurer to see whether they can claim back the cost of their trip. We’ve made guests aware that we are working with small, independent businesses whose policies in situations like these will vary.
In a widely covered report released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the watchdog has issued guidance relating to full refunds if the product that the customer bought (specifically mentioning holiday accommodation) couldn’t be delivered. This means guests are now more likely to request refunds and are supported by this CMA guidance.
What do I need to do to re-open for guests?
The UK government has released guidance for companies in the ‘visitor economy’ which includes places to stay.
In case you haven’t seen it already, please take a look. You’ll need to familiarise yourself with the guidance and implement where relevant to your place.
Visit Britain has launched the official “Good to Go” mark, in partnership with the Tourism Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. To receive the mark, you need to supply evidence of a Covid-19 specific risk assessment and the measures you will take to keep customers and staff safe. It’s free to register, and you can do so on the official website.
What if a guest is travelling from overseas where there is a travel ban?
This will be on a case-by-case basis but we would recommend that they follow the current advice of their own government and travel advisories. If they are advising not to travel to that region, their travel insurance should provide them with a full refund. Alternatively, you can offer gift vouchers to credit their stay or suggest alternative dates.
I have a property in France, Italy, Spain or Portugal and guests from the UK are wanting to cancel. What do I do?
We have told our guests to contact you directly so that you can go through your individual policies with them. The UK government currently requires travellers to self-isolate for 14 days on return to the UK, with a list of exempt countries for return into England. We would recommend that they check whether they can claim back their holiday via their travel insurance if advised not to travel. Alternatively, you could offer them a date change or credit their stay via gift vouchers so they can book dates further in advance.
For French properties, the French Government has published guidance in English regarding current measures in France.
Should I take new bookings?
For European owners, we would suggest that you follow your current Government advice about travel into and within your country.
Going forward, we would suggest that all owners set clear T&Cs for guests who make future bookings. Consider outlining what would happen to a booking in the event of local, regional or national lockdown as well as what happens if a guest displayes symptoms before or during their stay. We would advise that you try to remain as flexible as possible to encourage guests to book.
How can I get in touch with Sawday’s?
Whilst many of the team are working remotely, we are using cloud technology to transfer telephone calls. As with many cloud services, during periods of increased demand, reliability has been affected. If your call isn’t answered within a few rings, we would encourage you to email your account manager or email@example.com and we can get the relevant member of the team to get in touch with you.