The hospitality industry has had it’s business model disrupted since COVID-19 hit, which saw the spring and summer of 2020 decimated. Cash is king and if something like 2020 were to happen again (god forbid), many successful hotels could be at risk.
Whilst consumers in this ‘new normal’ are slightly more apprehensive of booking their trips away due to the ever-changing conditions, they still have a strong appetite for travel. One way that hoteliers can capitalizing on this trend is through offering gift vouchers.
Whether it be a regular low-season or, a lockdown situation, your potential guests will be captive, stuck at home and yet roaming the web searching for their next potential holiday, not quite confident enough to book. Or, maybe the holidays are coming up and they are wondering what to get certain loved ones – in both scenarios, gift vouchers can be the win-win solution.
Below are our top tips to help you make the most of gift vouchers and keep the cash flowing.
1. Offer Increased Value in the Future
Perfect for a worse-case scenario lockdown, several hotels sell their vouchers in the form of a bond where customers receive more value after vouchers mature.
For instant, you can sell vouchers for £100 but offer service worth £150 when the voucher matures, maybe after 60 days.
Henderson & Massa hotel in Italy encourages guests to buy gift cards in exchange for extra value at a later date. In April 2020, the hotel sold 100 vouchers, totaling around £15,000.
2. Extend Validity
The standard validity time for vouchers is around 12 months, but it may not work well with most of your customers, especially with what has happened in the world recently. Give your potential guests the flexibility they need by increasing validity to 18 or, 24 months.
Do the same for your current guests, call them with the good news of extending their vouchers validity duration.
3. Communication is the Key
Your potential guests will not know of your new voucher system unless you let them know through effective communication across all your marketing channels.
You can do this through;
- Emailing your subscribers
- Adding a voucher guide/mini-site to your hotel website
- Sharing voucher ideas & news across your social media channels
- Promoting your new vouchers through paid media
4. Be Relevant
Offer special occasion and seasonal vouchers. Your loyal guests are among those shopping for gifts around birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother/Father’s Day & of course, Christmas. Give them what they’re looking for with a vast array of vouchers from a hotel they love.
5. Wording Matter
What you call your vouchers and the words you use to describe the offer will have a large impact on their potential success.
Use words such as ‘COMPLIMENTARY’ or ‘FREE’ to give your prospects the notion that they are getting more than they are paying for. Also, be careful of saying ‘dinner included’ and instead consider saying ‘dinner supplement included’.
To sweeten the deal, throw in something small for free, such as a box of chocolates, free Wi-Fi, or a full English breakfast.
6. Keep Your Landing Page in Order
Now your prospect is hyped up and wants to purchase the gift voucher; where do they go? It doesn’t matter from where they heard it from, be it email, Facebook, or Twitter; you need to take them to a page where they can buy with a click of a button.
Make your sales page easy to navigate to avoid losing a customer at the last stage, by;
- Letting customers buy 24/7
- Send a personal message after purchase
- Buy on any device
- Pay securely online
If you don’t want the hassle of doing this yourself, consider using an external booking engine, such as voucherbrilliance.
The Last Words
For you as a hotelier, gift vouchers will lessen the impact that mass-cancellations can have, as we saw in the pandemic. They also inject cash now, not later. For guests, a compelling gift voucher can almost be too tempting to resist. Make sure your hotel doesn’t miss out on this win-win opportunity and start making plans today!