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New Holiday Lets booking system rivals hotels, says supplier

PropTech firm Pikl is launching an insurance-backed cancellation product specifically for holiday lets that will enable operators to offer the same or similar cancellation policies to those with hotel bookings. 

It is believed that this is a first for the holiday lets sector. 

Pikl is also introducing a new, small damage deposit product in addition to its existing products which protect against significant property damage and liability in the vacation rentals sector.


Traditionally, hotel bookings have offered more attractive and flexible cancellation policies than holiday lets, enabling customers to cancel, without charge, up to 24 hours before their booking starts. These cancellation policies have led to hotels and online travel agents achieving higher booking and conversion rates, resulting in greater profitability.

Louise Birritteri, chief executive of Pikl, says: “The vacation rental market has enjoyed rapid growth over the last 10 years and is now a mainstream choice. But, until now, it’s cancellation policies have lagged behind those of hotels. Customers have become used to free and flexible cancellations offered by hotel bookings and are prepared for that to be reflected in a higher price. 

“But without such cancellation policies, the vacation rental market has been operating at a disadvantage. Our flexible cancellation product taps into that customer expectation and will take away the disadvantage allowing vacation rentals managers to gain from a new revenue stream with higher booking conversions.

“We are really excited about this launch as these are the first Pikl products that are available to clients globally. Not only should it create new markets and partnerships for us but it will genuinely help to grow the vacation rentals market. We have been working in collaboration with a number of industry partners and large insurance providers to bring them to market.”

Pikl admits that having a flexible cancellation policy will undoubtedly increase cancellations, which can be volatile, but the important element is that the risk will not be carried by the vacation rental agency but transferred to Pikl’s product within a regulated structure. 

Pikl claims the new product can deliver increased booking conversion and revenue per booking and increased direct bookings, the option to allow cancellations up until time of check-in, by working with an insurer to provide confidence that they are not taking on a regulated, risk-carrying activity.

The small damage deposit product replaces the refundable damage deposit that guests usually pay upfront, which can sometimes be off-putting to customers. It can be offered as an opt-in for guests or inclusive at the point of booking a holiday let. 


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