“For the short-term, they are here to stay. In some cases or destinations (e.g. urban hotels, nearby holiday destinations) they’ll continue in the mid-term too. However, I believe that in the long run, hotels will have a clear differentiation between flexible and non-flexible rates, similar to what was being offered by many already, but with a higher differentiation in terms of conditions and rate. This way, if a guest can commit to booking well in advance, they can take advantage of a heavily discounted, non-flexible rate.
This is not very different to what had been offered historically to the wholesalers but now offered directly to the public. Creating different tiers of rate flexibility (like the airlines do) can be a way forward. Many hotels will include a clause where rates are not refundable, but that credit can be used in the future. Nothing new for the industry, as airlines have been applying it for many years, but new to some hotels.”