Hyatt has announced a new minimum cancellation policy, which it says “allows hotels to manage guestroom availability more effectively, including offering rooms and upgrades to rooms that would have otherwise gone unoccupied”.

Guests at most properties will now be subject to a 48-hour policy to avoid cancellation fees, although the group says that “Because each Hyatt hotel may continue to set its own cancellation policy based on local market dynamics and expectations, we always encourage guests to check the cancellation policy at the time of booking”.

The new policy will come into effect for reservations made or changed on or after January 1, 2018, and does not apply to pre-paid or non-refundable rates.

Premium tier members of the group’s World of Hyatt loyalty programme will in most cases be exempt from the changes, with Hyatt stating that “While this change is designed to improve room availability, we recognize that flexibility is important and will offer relaxed criteria for our most frequent guests”.

World of Hyatt Explorist, Globalist or Lifetime Globalist members will continue to be able to cancel up to 24 hours before arrival, where the hotel’s cancellation policy is 48 hours. The exemption applies to all hotel except for those under the Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Miraval and M Life brands.

This year has seen a number of major hotel brands tighten their cancellation policies, including Hilton, IHG and Marriott.