In these testing times for the hospitality industry, we’ve put all of our energy into finding ways to support hotel businesses with actionable solutions.
There is no quick fix, but there are steps you can take to minimise the impact of the coronavirus (COVID–19) outbreak.
Most hoteliers we’ve spoken to have reported very low occupancy rates and unprecedentedly low levels of future bookings, and many are now closed to guests due to national lockdowns. The virus casts a cloud of uncertainty over the industry, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see a pickup in forward bookings until real progress is made.
We’ve been amazed at the innovation shown by hoteliers in identifying creative opportunities to market their hotel and capture revenues.
One area seeing new levels of demand is hotel gift vouchers.
Guests are understandably reluctant to make a booking they might not be able to attend. But they are much more comfortable purchasing gift vouchers, which can be redeemed at a later date when the situation improves.
We’ll go on to explain the different ways of marketing gift vouchers and how to optimise sales. But the key point here is that offering gift vouchers is fast and free to set up and generates revenue for your hotel instantly.
Gift vouchers can also be used as part of your cancellation policy, which is likely under pressure. We are seeing hoteliers offering gift vouchers for guests looking to cancel non-refundable rates, and even offering 120% of the stay-value in gift vouchers as an incentive.
Finally, it is also a great way of generating revenues from the local community, which will turn into restaurant or staycation revenues as the recovery unfolds.
Click here to get started with our chosen partner SK Chase.
Generate revenue with no upfront costs
We’re working with leading gift voucher service SK Chase who can get you set up to sell hotel gift vouchers in a matter of days.
At this moment in time, when hoteliers may well struggle to justify investment, SK Chase are a smart option because they bring in cash straight away and they don’t charge set up fees – they simply take a commission from the sales you make.
Depending on the property, there is potential to bring in around £3,000-£20,000 of monthly revenue through this service.
Even if you have sadly been forced to close the doors of your hotel, you can take advantage of this cost-free opportunity to generate some timely cashflow.
SK Chase will design an on-brand gift shop website and a selection of eVouchers – all you need to do is post a link to the voucher page on your website. They’ll also take care of payments through their secure sales platform.
Hotel gift voucher strategy
Demand for travel ‘experiences’ is growing and, despite the lockdown, people are still buying gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
Gift vouchers are a great way to bundle services together and we recommend creating a selection of vouchers with different activities, depending on what facilities you have available at your property. For example:
- A spa day for two
- A £100 voucher for use across all hotel facilities
- A three-day overnight stay with activities
Spa experiences, afternoon tea and restaurant meals have proven to be the most popular among hotel guests. But properties are also finding success offering simple overnight stays, monetary vouchers, and other activities such as golf, local tours and cookery classes.
Ordinarily, we’d suggest strategically limiting the validity of your vouchers to prevent too many being redeemed over busy periods when demand is already high. However, at this moment in time, the most important thing is to give your guests peace of mind. So, it makes sense to extend the validity for up to two years into the future.
Marketing these vouchers over social media or through blog content is a great way to continue promoting your business, even if your hotel is currently closed.
After signing up, you’ll be provided with free voucher sales training and technical advice. This is a good time to discuss any custom strategies appropriate for your hotel brand.
The real strength of this service at right now is its ability to generate income straight away. And as an added bonus, 24% of vouchers are never even redeemed, meaning you won’t even have to service a significant proportion of this income.
If you’re interested in generating new revenue right now, please get in touch and we’ll help you get set up for free.