PreFitur Academy: Refundable, Gift and Tourist Vouchers

Booking Engine 15/11/2021
PreFitur Bonds

Perhaps the only two things that the functionalities we will see below have in common are, on the one hand, the inclusion of the word "bonus," and on the other, their contribution to the increase in direct sales.

Enough to gather them in an article that explains their benefits and how to configure them. After all, they all add value, enhance the guest experience, and offer alternative ways to travel under the best possible conditions.

Gift Vouchers: giving experiences is a trend

Allowing the gift of a stay or a specific service from your establishment is, in essence, offering the possibility of giving an experience. Increasingly, people seek to surprise others on occasions such as birthdays, holidays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, etc. Turning your hotel into the perfect gift is straightforward by adding the Gift Vouchers functionality to your engine. This opens the door to new ways of boosting direct bookings, expanding your potential customer base to people who might not have been considering traveling.

Can you imagine how many people could visit your hotel's website if a section of it were properly positioned in search engines for keywords like "unique gifts," "special gifts," "gifting experiences," or "Valentine's Day gifts"? Gift Vouchers also serve as a mechanism to generate quality traffic, increase the visibility of your establishment, and exponentially multiply the likelihood of generating new sales. If you can meet the expectations of both the "gift giver" and the "recipient," you will have gained two potential future guests and, in the process, two new advocates for your product. Word of mouth is a powerful loyalty resource.

How it works

It all starts with creating a specific section on your hotel's official website, properly promoted throughout the site. The buyer fills in the recipient's details, following the normal booking process, and both receive the confirmation email. That's how simple it is.

In addition to those looking for an original or special gift for their partner, family, or friend, ensure that anyone arriving at your direct channel, for whatever reason, leaves knowing that your product is also available as a gift. From there, the configuration parameters allow you to customize this marketing method to the fullest:
  • Two-step purchasing process

  • Custom design

  • Economic amounts of predetermined or free-choice reservations

  • Custom validity date

  • Separation of the buyer's and recipient's confirmation emails

  • Text field for a congratulatory message

  • Possibility to add incentives (e.g., x euros gift for every euro spent)

  • Possibility to gift stays and/or services

  • Scheduled delivery of the gift voucher to the recipient

  • Compatible with payment gateways, Bizum, etc.

Benefits for the hotelier

  • Another way to increase direct sales: appeals to both travelers and gift buyers

  • Differentiating factor: stand out from the competition with this functionality

  • Destabilizing element: can enable this functionality for low-demand dates or seasons

  • Direct channel traffic generator: your hotel will gain visibility for a broader spectrum of potential customers

  • Spontaneous advocate generator: both the buyer and the recipient will recommend your establishment if satisfied with the experience

Refundable Vouchers: build guest loyalty without facing financial refunds

Developed during the pandemic to cope with the surge of cancellations, this functionality has not lost its utility and remains of great interest to hoteliers. We face a strange scenario where the reasons for travelers to cancel can sometimes be beyond their control. However, the hotel should not be forced to make refunds that it is not entitled to, nor should it risk losing a guest forever due to dissatisfaction with poor cancellation management. This is where Refundable Vouchers come into play.

How it works

Let's consider the following situation. A customer makes a non-refundable reservation. In theory, they cannot cancel it because they have benefited from a better price by choosing that rate. However, restrictions in their country of origin or the destination country prevent them from traveling on the scheduled dates.

The hotel faces a difficult decision here. It can wash its hands, stick to the conditions of the contracted cancellation policy, pocket the reservation money, and deal with a dissatisfied customer who probably won't return to an establishment that did not offer alternatives to a problem beyond their control.

Or, on the contrary, it can be flexible and opt for an intermediate approach. That is, not refunding the money but offering the possibility to postpone the trip by providing a voucher for the same economic value as the amount paid, for use in a future reservation. This way, everyone wins. The customer doesn't feel like they've wasted money, and knowing that no refund was due, they will be very satisfied with the hotel's stance and highly value its willingness to help. Maximum-level loyalty.

Moreover, the hotel ensures the payment of the reservation, avoids having to refund money it had already counted on (crucial given the current cash flow needs of establishments), and has a resource to minimize the impact of possible waves of cancellations, as they have already experienced. Of course, the configuration parameters of these vouchers allow the hotelier to plan according to their needs and interests:
  • Custom design

  • Language selection

  • Amount

  • Discounts (percentage or amount of the total, percentage or amount per night of the reservation, etc.)

  • Single-use Promocode

  • Validity date

  • Applicable rates

  • Location, query, and modification

  • Location and detailed query of the reservation where it has been applied

Benefits for the hotelier

  • Avoid facing refunds

  • Maintain direct contact with the customer

  • Ensure revenue from canceled or postponed reservations

  • Minimize the impact of cancellations

  • Loyalty by adopting a flexible attitude

Tourism Vouchers: benefit from your community's tourism vouchers

The lack of demand due to the pandemic has led many destinations to launch tourism vouchers as an economic incentive to promote travel reactivation. The protocols imposed by different autonomous communities vary greatly, making it a cumbersome process for both the hotel and the tourist in many cases.

At Paraty Tech, we have done everything possible to integrate these protocols with the official website's booking engine. Thus, if the Andalusian Voucher required the intermediation of a travel agency, we quickly reached an agreement with a local company. This allowed guests to book normally through the hotel's direct channel, even though the reservation was being managed by an agency internally, complying with the legal requirements to benefit from the voucher's associated privileges.

Automating and facilitating such processes favors hotels that decide to implement this functionality, placing them ahead of others when guests decide on accommodation. In this regard, communication becomes more important than ever to ensure that all potential customers are aware that a particular hotel supports or encourages the use of tourism vouchers.

Even in cases where it is not possible to fully integrate the protocol with the booking process, it is useful to employ social media, newsletters, or website banners to direct guests to where they should register and inform them clearly of the requirements their reservation must meet to become eligible for the voucher (e.g., the Valencian Voucher requires a minimum of two nights' accommodation and a maximum half-board regime).

How it works

As mentioned earlier, the configuration and implementation of this functionality depend on the autonomous community where the establishment is located. It's best to get in touch with us to explain how it specifically works in your destination. In some cases, it simply involves informing that the establishment is affiliated and facilitating the registration process for voucher use. In others, it involves configuring and activating certain parameters, but don't worry; we take care of everything. Some of the vouchers we have worked with include:
  • Andalusian Tourism Voucher

  • Viatgem Comunidad Valenciana

  • Bonus Turístic per a Residents Illes Balears

  • Tarjeta Turística “Quedamos en Galicia”

  • Euskadi Turismo Bono

  • Bono Turístico Aragonés

  • Bonos Turísticos de Extremadura

  • Bono Canario

Benefits for the hotelier

  • Stimulate demand

  • Helping always leads to loyalty

  • Destabilize by increasing occupancy in low or mid-season

  • Increase traffic by becoming a reliable source of information

  • Increase direct sales by offering all facilities for booking

If you want to expand this information and see some examples, don't miss the webinar: "Pre-Fitur Academy: Refundable, Gift, and Tourism Vouchers", November 16, 11:30 a.m. You can register by clicking here!