Did you know that Gift Cards are the most requested gift for 13 straight years? Well, it’s true and your hotel can take advantage of this multi-billion dollar opportunity by offering gift cards towards future stays, on-property activities, or food and beverage. It’s great for improving cash flow, capitalizing on last-minute holiday shoppers, but most importantly, gift cards can help you drive more direct bookings and reduce reliance on the OTAs. In this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, we discuss the reasons why this may be something you should consider and some of the best practices in deploying your own gift card program.
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Why should you care about gift cards?
91% have purchased a gift card, either for themselves (69%) or others (87%)
42% of consumers report purchasing gift cards for themselves in order to earn airline miles, reward, loyalty, fuel or credit card points
67% of millennials are interested in receiving a digital gift card
How big is the gift card industry?
2019: $337 Billion
2026: $500-$750 Billion
But what does it mean for my business?
82% of businesses who offer gift cards see an increase in sales and revenue
Who else is doing it already?
Most major brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Choice, Bestwestern (or Beestweester), and Four Seasons. Other travel brands, including Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking, Southwest Airlines, and AirBNB.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Gift Card Program At My Hotel?
- Drives More Direct Bookings
- Improves Cash Flow
- Captures More Customer Data
- Differentiates You From the Competition
- Helps You Compete with Flagged Properties
- Builds Loyalty and Repeat Bookings
- Provides an Opportunity to Generate Advocacy
- Creates a Strong Emotional Connection To the Giver and the Receiver
How to Develop A Gift Card Strategy For Your Hotel
- Start Simple with eCertificates
- Make Sure to Protect Against Fraud (but don’t go crazy)
- Train Your Call Center and On-Property Staff
- Promote Gift Cards EVERYWHERE
- Be Sure to Follow Federal and Local Regulations for Gift Cards and Data Collection
PRO Tips For Hotel Gift Cards
- Offer incentives to the purchaser
- Send personalized promotional gift cards for birthdays and special occasions
- Use promotional gift cards to get your bookings back from the OTAs
- Use gift cards as a lever to encourage guests to use on-property activities and establishments
- Take advantage of last-minute shoppers around holidays
In The Newsaroos:
- None this week
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @fueltravel or email@example.com.