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Refundable rates best practices for hotels

The hotel search UI is being updated to include a filter for hotels where partners are offering rates flagged as "cancelable" so users can make more informed booking decisions given the current uncertain circumstances. Learn more about our COVID-19 efforts.

Additionally, we are modifying our hotel ads to surface information regarding each advertiser’s cancellation policy directly to our users. It’s best to provide Google with as much detail as possible, including the deadline for cancellation and applicable property and itinerary information. If you’re interested in implementing refundability, see guidelines below.

How to provide refundability pricing data

There are three options for providing refundability pricing data.

Note: If your cancellation policy does not provide a full refund to users, please connect with your account manager to determine alternative or new options that can be provided by Google.

Provide refundability data via existing price feeds (Highly recommended)

  1. Review the refundability verification requirements below and ensure your landing pages are prominently displaying your refundability/free cancellation policies.
  2. Update your transaction message schema to include the <Refundable> element.
  3. To validate any changes to the transaction message XML schema, see Hotel Ads Schema.
  4. Verify your prices are successfully flagged as being refundable by viewing your rate details in the Hotel Center price list page.

Setup a global refundable rates policy (Recommended only for account or brand-level policy updates)

To modify all rates without any changes required to your price feeds, you can provide Google written permission to allow modification of ALL existing and future rates for an account that has clear refundability rules. Google will then update your feeds within 24-48 business hours to reflect these changes after reviewing your landing page and policy validation. Learn more about verification requirements

This update will make all prices saved by Google default to the same refund policy and deadline provided. If you have other use cases or requirements, you can directly email your account manager or file a support request for unique or extenuating circumstances.

Information to provide:

  • Check-in date range of itineraries that this policy will apply to
  • Deadline for cancelation, and guests receiving a full refund
  • Link to landing page detailing the refund policy
  • Acknowledgment of Google’s refundability verification requirements

Update your callout messages to include information regarding refundability (Least recommended)

This option will not flag your rates as being refundable and will not be shown if users filter search results for cancelable rates. However, users will still be able to view your callout text when ads for your campaigns are displayed (e.g., "Free cancellation by April 30"). Use this option if you’re unable to provide updates to your price feed but have various brand-level policies applicable to a certain subset of your hotel list.

You can add or update callouts through your Google Ads account or contact your account manager for assistance. Learn more about callouts for hotel campaigns

Verification requirements

Please make sure your rates meet the following requirements to be considered refundable:

  • You are providing a full refund to the original payment method (including all applicable taxes and fees).
  • Your landing page clearly indicates the rate is refundable.
  • In the checkout process, provide policy details including cancelation deadline.
  • Your cancelation deadline matches the one provided by Google.

If your refund policies ever change, you need to either immediately notify Google to modify any global refundable rate policies or (if applicable) directly update your transaction messages and/or callouts. Google will continuously run validation checks on landing pages to ensure the accuracy of the refund. If these requirements aren’t followed, price accuracy scores will be impacted and properties can potentially be blocked from displaying ads.

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