Although hotels have removed nearly all risk from travel by offering free cancellation rates, travellers are still not booking. Free cancellation just isn’t enough. Too much uncertainty is preventing travellers from committing to specific travel dates, even with the option to easily cancel. Booking flights is difficult and unpredictable while it’s hard to foresee changes in government restrictions. However, measured in website visits alone there are plenty of people exploring hotel websites. And to tap into this demand, there is a creative solution: hotel gift vouchers.

Travel vouchers help hotels

Hoteliers have begun selling travel vouchers, where a customer can book a travel offer without committing to dates.

There is always a risk that people could choose another destination by the time they felt ready to book. Prepaid hotel vouchers can help to convert those interested in booking a trip. The vouchers reduce cancellation risks for guests and also provide cash flow for the hotel. Plus, it’s an open secret that some vouchers are paid for and then never used.

What’s in it for the consumer?

When setting up this campaign, it's important to keep your target consumer in mind. In conversations with likely travellers, the first thing asked is “Why shouldn’t I just wait until I know my dates?” Hotels need to make the voucher offers compelling.

There are some obvious advantages for the consumer:

  1. Travellers are aware that prices are lower than normal for most hotels. Hotel vouchers allow them to lock-in rates well below their peak.
  2. In times of global doom and dismay, people need something to look forward to. Hotel vouchers satisfy that emotional need—and allow people to plan and dream.
  3. Guests can enjoy complimentary extras. With occupancy at all-time lows, hotels can afford to offer early check-ins, late check-outs or room upgrades, without the headache that used to come with it.
  4. Travellers can support hoteliers. People have compassion for the hospitality businesses most affected by the lockdowns. Independent hotels and small chains can incorporate this in their messaging.
In a survey of Hotelchamp’s customers, only 32% of hotels had the eCommerce ability to sell vouchers on their website.

Hotelchamp’s Instant Purchase Solution

To help hoteliers, we have come up with a solution for eCommerce functionality that any Hotelchamp customer can use. Hoteliers can highlight their chosen offers, like a 3-night stay with free breakfast or even discounted credit towards future stays. If the visitor clicks ‘Buy now’ on the Hotelchamp tool, they are taken to a secure payment page. This page is configured with essential information and the guest can complete the transaction.

Once the visitor knows their desired dates, they are able to contact the hotel to confirm their reservation. Hotel staff will be able to see these purchases and will simply need the name and/or booking code to verify. This final step will require some small work from the front desk but is a necessary evil in difficult times.

Wordpress CMS users can also enjoy our partner UMI Digital’s gift voucher plug-in for free (see The Priory example below).

To quickly and easily set up a campaign like this, please contact our team at welcome@hotelchamp.com. If you are an existing Hotelchamp customer, contact your Customer Success Manager to get started right away!

Posted 
May 6, 2020
 in 
 category
Written by
Hotelchamp Team