Guest Cycle: What It Is And How It Works

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The Guest Cycle in the hotel with Four Stages and Diagram

The Guest Cycle in a hotel refers to the various stages that a guest goes through during their stay. There are typically four stages in the guest cycle, which include pre-arrival, arrival, occupancy, and departure.

During the pre-arrival stage, the guest makes their reservation, provides their personal information, and requests any special accommodations they may need. This stage is crucial as it sets the tone for the guest’s entire stay.

The arrival stage is when the guest physically arrives at the hotel and checks in. During this stage, the guest is greeted by the front desk staff, who verify their reservation and provide them with their room key and any additional information they may need, such as the hotel’s amenities and services.

The occupancy stage is when the guest is actually staying in the hotel. During this stage, the guest is able to enjoy the various amenities and services that the hotel has to offer, such as room service, housekeeping, and access to the hotel’s facilities.

Finally, the departure stage is when the guest checks out of the hotel. During this stage, the guest settles any outstanding charges, returns their room key, and provides feedback on their stay. This feedback is crucial for the hotel, as it helps them to improve their services and better meet the needs of their guests.

What is the Hotel Guest Cycle?

The Front office employees must be aware of guest services and guest accounting activities at all stages of the guest stay. Front office staff can effectively serve the guests if they have a clear understanding of the flow of business in the hotel. Guest Cycle also represents a systematic approach to front office operations.
Hotel Guest Cycle 
1. Pre-ArrivalReservation, Reconfirmation, Pickup request, Pre Arrival Letter
2. ArrivalDoormen, Bell Desk, Travel Desk, Registration, Room Assignment, Issuing of Key, Baggage Handling, Welcome Letter
3. OccupancySafe Deposit, Telephone Calls, Concierge, Travel Desk, Currency Exchange, Mails
4. Departure.Bill Settlement, Key Return, Bell Desk, Travel Desk, Concierge, Check-out, Thank-you Letter

Diagram for Hotel Guest Cycle

Guest Cycle, Hotel Guest Cycle, Resort Guest Cycle, Diagram for guest cycle, Explanation about guest cycle in hotels, 1-Pre- Arrival, 2-Arrival, 3-Occupancy and 4-Departure.

1. Guest Cycle: Pre-Arrival

The Guest chooses a hotel during the pre-arrival stage of the guest cycle. The choice of the guest can be affected by many factors, including previous experiences with the hotel, advertisement, word-of-mouth referral by friends and colleagues, location, corporate, travel agent booking, hotel name, hotel loyalty program member, etc.

The guest’s decision to make the reservation can also be affected by the ease of making the reservation and the way the reservation agent interacted and described the facility of the hotel like room type, room rate, recreational facilities, and other attractions near the hotels etc. 

We can certainly call the reservation area the sales office for non-corporate or group bookings. Its employees should be sales-orientated and present a positive, strong image of the hotel.

If a reservation can be accepted, the reservation agent creates a reservation on the hotel management software. The creation of this reservation record starts the hotel guest cycle. This reservation contains details of the guest’s specific request which will help the hotel to provide the guest with personalized service during his stay.

The details that are collected during the reservation also help the hotel to complete pre-registration activities like assigning rooms according to guest request, room rate to be charged to the guest folio during stay, etc.

Although the reservation details help in providing guests with anticipatory service the primary objective of making the reservation is to make sure that room will be available when he arrives at the hotel. 

2. Guest Cycle – Arrival

The arrival stage of the guest cycle includes the registration and room assignment process. After the guest arrives, they establish a business relationship with the hotel through the front office. It is the front office staff’s responsibility to clarify any query of the guest especially the details of the room rate of the packages they have booked on.

Front office staff should determine the guest’s reservation status before beginning the check-in/registration process. Guest with reservation and guest without reservation commonly known as walk-ins also provide an opportunity for business for front desk staff.

A Registration card or Reg. card is printed and completed at the time of check-in, which will help the front desk to collect essential information. The reg. the card should contain details like billing instructions, reservation details, number of adults and children occupying, address, passport and visa for foreign nationals, full address, personal details, and credit card details. Because the guest and hotel gain certain legal benefits it is mandatory to get the guest’s signature on the registration card.

The registration process is complete once a method of payment and the guest’s departure date has been confirmed and duly signed by the guest. The guest may be given a room key and directions to the room or escorted by the guest service associate or guest service manager. 

When the guest checks in to the room the occupancy stage of the guest cycle begins.

3. Guest Cycle – Occupancy

How the front office staff represents the hotel is important during the occupancy stage.

As the main contact centre for hotel activity, the front office is responsible for coordinating guest requests. Among those providing information and supplies to the guests.

The front desk should take extra care to respond to the guests in a timely and accurate manner. The main focus of the front desk staff is to provide anticipatory service and to meet or exceed the guest’s expectations. This will encourage the guest to repeat to the hotel.

Security is also a main concern during the occupancy of the guest. Issues like the protection of funds and valuables are among those. The front desk should also follow the hotel’s standard operating procedure for handling the hotel and guest keys, property surveillance, safe deposit boxes, guest’s personal property, and emergencies are also important.

A variety of charges restaurant charges, telephone, internet, travel desk, etc. during the occupancy stage affect guest and hotel accounts. Most of these charges will be posted to the guest account according to front office posting procedures. And also in most cases, the Room charges are the single largest charge on the guest folio.

Other front office financial tasks during the occupancy stage are verifying the charges posted to the guest account and checking guest accounts against the credit limit.

4. Guest Cycle – Departure

Guest services and guest accounting aspects of the guest cycle are completed during the cycle’s fourth and final phase ie departure

At Departure, the guest vacates the room, receives the accurate statement of the settled accounts, returns the room keys, and leaves the hotel. Once the guest has checked out, the front office updates the room’s availability status and notifies the housekeeping department. ( For hotels using Property management software the status of the room is updated automatically ).

At this stage front office also collects feedback on the guest experience in the hotels by handing over the guest feedback form.

Overall, the guest cycle is an important aspect of the hotel industry, as it ensures that guests receive high-quality service throughout their stay. By understanding the guest cycle and providing exceptional service at each stage, hotels can create a welcoming and enjoyable experience for their guests.
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