Jeroen van den Berg · 10 Mar, 2019

Selling hotel experiences and gift vouchers online. Part 1: the team

Several people fist bumping over a busy workspace

So, you looked at the numbers, you looked at your competitors and you decided to start selling your hotel gift vouchers and experiences online with Hotel Treats. Great news! Now let’s make sure you maximise your sales.

In the next few posts, we will discuss the strategies our clients employ to maximise ancillary revenues. 

While we strongly believe every hotel is different, there is one factor that is absolutely critical for each and every one of them: getting your team onboard. The decision to create an online shop if typically made by one person - either the GM, Marketing or F&B Director. However, making it a success requires a serious team effort. The most successful hotels we work with make sure a cross-team task force is involved in the process from day one. In an ideal scenario, there should be one person heading up the project (typically someone from the marketing team, perhaps someone working towards a promotion who can use this project to earn extra kudos?) + one person from each team such as F&B, Spa, Front Office, Revenue, etc. 

You will need their backing when it comes to creating the experiences you want to sell, promoting them, and then redeeming vouchers the moment your first customers walk through the door. 

Here is what everyone brings in:

Outlet Managers

Typically F&B and Spa Directors know best what experiences and gift vouchers they want to sell and when. For example, the F&B Director might head up preparations for a New Year’s Eve Gala and would much rather sell tickets online, than have one of their team bound to the phone, taking orders. In the low season, the F&B team may also want to run Cooking Workshops to make more local residents aware of their facilities and increase footfall throughout the year. The Spa Director might want to create a special Springtime Rejuvenation package. 

Together, they might decide to create a Valentine’s Day package which will include a couples massage, followed by a romantic set menu dinner. You get the gist. You will need to encourage each outlet manager to get creative, talk to one another and think of treats that will be appealing for your target audience.

The GM & Revenue team 

Are typically most involved in creating packages including accommodation. Based on your pricing strategy, you might want to start promoting treats such as a discounted one-night accommodation + tasting menu package in the low season. We’ve seen these sell brilliantly as wedding and anniversary gifts.

Please have a look here for a great example on how to make this happen.

Front Office & Spa Teams

Are often best informed about what clients are really looking for. Perhaps the FO picked up six calls last week from people desperately looking for last-minute Mother’s Day gifts? Make sure they are included in the conversation and know where to direct clients to buy vouchers online. Equally, they will need to be aware of how to redeem vouchers when your customers start arriving. 

Marketing Director

Marketing Managers are often best aware of the calendar of events planned throughout the year. Perhaps there are plans to organise summertime open-air concerts aiming to promote the hotel amongst local residents? Or events celebrating the summer solstice, national holiday, etc? 

In fact, selling summer concerts for Marriott in Mallorca is exactly how we got started.  Please have a look here to find out more.  

Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Teams

Know best how to engage with your social media followers and are always on the lookout for content they can share. What better post to share on a hot summers day, than a dazzling picture of your pool, including a link to where a cabana & drinks package can be purchased? 

So, please make sure you get everyone involved in creating your first set of treats. Then ensure they know what to do when they create new (perhaps seasonal) treats - who needs to sign them off and who can upload them into the system. Ultimately, this is what will make or break your efforts. 

Naturally, we will be with you every step of the way to get your team excited about the project and we will deliver tailored training to each part of the team to make sure they are ready for go-live. 


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