GuestJoy winter checklist; Get ready for 2021!

We are not even going to pretend, 2020 has been very hard for everyone in the industry. But we want to help make the end of the year just a little bit better with some support and tips, even if your hotel is closed at the moment.

1.) Check with your local hotel association what kind of aid and programs are available. They are always there to help and they definitely know the freshest news about your country’s restrictions.

2.) Re-think where you can cut costs and how could you run your hotel more efficiently. You don’t even need to invest; there are a lot of companies offering a COVID-relief program, a few months for free. New software, guest-facing platforms, check-in and upselling tools all have free trials. There is still time to implement these before the travellers start coming once more.

Think about what are the tasks that you can substitute with an automated system. You can browse websites for software that will relieve you from operational tasks. Can you implement a messaging system? Door locks or codes so you can skip on a night receptionist?

Here are our top takes:

Guestline Covid Hub
Bookassist Covid offers and advice
Hotelhero’s Covid Assistance
Netaffinity Resources

Check-in done at a traditional reception

3.) Reassess how the Guest Expectation has changed and try to apply this to your property.
– Guests will still need to know about safety and health standards
– Possibly more of them would like to take advantage of your in-room offers
– Many of them will like to minimize contact
Communicate pre-arrival
– Improve your mobile experience, as customers use smartphones more than ever
– Think about your booking and canceling policies, are they flexible enough?

Is there anything else we didn’t mention here? Think about what kind of people usually visited your hotel and how their needs might have changed.

Is the traditional reception a thing of the past?

4.) Reach out to ‘lost’ or previous customers. Make sure you don’t lose those vacationers who had to cancel due to the pandemic. Recover their data from your PMS and send them an invite to stay at your property. You can also send a campaign to previous customers, offering them a discount for booking direct, or a different deal.

5.) Think ahead – Easter and Mother’s day is just around the corner! By the time the vaccine “kicks in”, people will like to celebrate by travelling. You could add limited-time offers for that period. Make sure to offer bookers something special with a time-constraint so they will reserve their holidays immediately. For more on successful hotel marketing you can read The Hotels Network blog or Netaffinity’s blog.

Harness the technological advances that this year brought to the hospitality industry, because this is the new reality. There is still time to implement new software to take your hotel to the next level by automation. A fast, modern and somewhat more contactless hotel experience is definitely what the future traveller will need.

And lastly, but probably most importantly: make sure you and your employees are physically and mentally healthy. After all, we are all human and you can’t run a business without manpower!

It’s not just about getting visits to your website. It’s about getting quality traffic to increase conversions. Our expert partners at STAAH will guide you through this journey.

To have a visitor come back to your website to book with you is not easy, especially with so much competition around. Even if you have the best deals and prettiest rooms, you need to attract guests and convince them to book many other ways.

We are not just talking about safety and hygiene, but to show that the guests will have a great experience at your premises.

Here are a few tips to consider on attracting guests to your hotel website:

Build a website that attracts and retains users

The first and most important step is having an attractive, clutter-free website and easy booking steps. No amount of promotions will help if your website doesn’t deliver a great experience.

Your website must be:

  • Mobile-friendly. It makes sense, given that more than 50% of search traffic now comes from mobile devices.
  • Fast-loading. 53% of visits are abandoned if a website takes longer than three seconds to load.

Now about the visuals. Less is more seems to be the philosophy these days. In the world of travel, nothing sells better than a good image or video. Make sure your website has plenty of them.

Your page should also be easy to navigate, the booking button easily reachable, and try to include features such as WatchMyRate which improve user stickiness.

Your website should be fast and easy to navigate

Content content content

The foundation of any digital strategy is content. Online ‘noise’ can be overwhelming, so try to figure out relevant content, that is unique to you and your audience. Think out of the box and beyond the four walls of your property when brainstorming.

Most importantly, you need not be the only one creating content for your website. Smart hoteliers will get the guests involved. That’s called UGC – User Generated Content – the most authentic and sellable kind of content available.

You could ask one of your trusted returning guests to blog/post about their experience, or invite someone well-known for a weekend, and ask them to endorse and advertise your premises.

Promote Staycation deals

Staycationers are looking to escape their daily routine. Remove the stress of planning by offering multiple staycation deals.

Plan different packages for each season or based on special events (e.g. Easter, Mother’s day, etc). Cater to the audiences that often come to your hotel (are these families, single travellers, couples?).

Consider offering online vouchers that can be bought from your website but redeemed later.

Give your guests the chance to build their own itinerary as well. Allow them to choose the perks and events they care about most. Customisation will help them feel more like they’re on vacation even if they’re not going too far away from home for their holiday.

Don’t forget to update your distribution channels with these offers!

Update your website seasonally!

Become a Storyteller

Extending on the point above, you need to tell a story – your story, the story of your location, and the people around you.

In fact, other people’s stories are a great way to engage a wider audience and build more local advocates. This could be for e.g. building your hotel’s brand around the local scenery, history and services. (Are you a big city hotel that caters to busy business people, or are you a small boutique that hosts honeymooners?)

Pro tip: use virtual reality to give a room tour.

Don’t forget SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is a great way to drive quality traffic to your website. However, SEO is not an overnight results-generator. It’s more of a long term stable traffic earner.

With people spending so much time online, this is an excellent opportunity to concentrate on building brand equity by engaging with consumers and providing them with quality content.

Organic search is perfectly placed to make the most of this opportunity. In a post-COVID-19 world, your website could be more valuable than ever to drive business.

How to get started? Here you can find a great resource base.

Paid Ads & Marketing

Facebook, Google and your OTAs are all commercial businesses. To get ahead on any of these platforms, it’s crucial to have a paid presence. Update your features, photos and text whenever you have new information available.

Try running campaign ads on social and also retargeting your visitors who viewed deals on your website. Retargeting targets potential hotel guests who have already visited your hotel’s website including your booking engine by displaying advertisements for your hotel to them on other digital platforms.

Many companies will do that for you such as Net Affinity, The Hotel’s Network, or STAAH.

Keep your customers engaged

It goes without saying that responding to your online reviews is important, and a great way to promote traffic to your website.

These days, potential guests are all online and one of the key factors influencing a guest’s booking decision are your property’s online ratings and reviews.

Monitor all your feedback across your website, GoogleMyBusiness, and social channels.

Explain the Direct Booking perks

Be transparent in your communication and prove your offer to be the best, by displaying comparative rates on your website, emphasise the perks of booking online.

Many hotels fail to capture direct bookings simply because OTA sites give the impression that they offer the best rates.

And it is a fact that room rate remains as the top driver in the booking decision, independent of other offers and deals.

It is a good idea here, to work towards adjusting your inventory and pricing, to portray direct bookings to be the best option always offering the best rates in the market.

And finally, you can always target your loyal customers via emails to come back.

Have you already heard the term Upselling but are unsure where to start? This article will be your guide, explaining the very basics of upselling. It’s a part of a series on upselling by GuestJoy.

What is exactly upselling? 

Upselling is a sales technique where the seller invites the customer to buy more expensive items, upgrades or any other type of add-ons to generate more revenue. 

In hotel terms this would mean encouraging your guests to buy something ‘extra. For example room upgrades, taxi transfer, roomservice, spa packages. 

These are all things that can help you earn more and you are probably already doing it in some form. 

How does this benefit you? 

Besides the obvious – extra income, guests benefit from the variety you offer. They can chose to have a more luxurious vacation or enhance their stay with small things. This all creates an overall better guest experience, and happier guests mean higher ratings online, more returning customers, and a better word of mouth. 

And if we want to get sciency, there will be a lot of guest data to analyze later on. For example: what sells best at which time of the year. 

Upsell some snacks

Where to start? 

No matter what size your property is, whether you are an apartment or a 500 room hotel, look first for the obvious. 

  • What are your guests always inquiring about? 
  • What are the attractions/specialties of your area? 
  • Why do guest visit your hotel, is it a spa, or a family getaway? 
  • What do they purchase the most? 

These are going to be the things you can easily sell (or possibly you are already doing it in one form or another). Let’s take a concrete example, you are a boutique hotel in a capital city and your guests are always asking about taxi transportation from the airport and how they can get tickets to the local hop-on-hop-off bus. These two things can be your best selling extras, now you just need to ‘advertise’ this to all of your guests, not just the ones that ask about it. 

How to ‘advertize’? In other words how to do the actual upselling part? 

The most old-school way is probably asking at the reception, during check in whether the guests would like to upgrade their room (depending on availability). 

Other ways can be: 

  • On your website (putting a link to your offers or to your taxi company’s web)
  • On a paper leaflet in the room, at the reception desk, and in the common areas
  • In your restaurant
  • In a marketing email (pre arrival)
  • On your OTA  and social media platforms 
Who wouldn’t want to get a cab to their hotel instead of public transport?

Think about who you’d like to reach? 

Surely not only those who are asking about taxi transfer would be interested in comfy travel, but excessive advertising can also be too pushy. Also different types of travellers like to see different types of advertisement. This is a more nuanced part of upselling, so for now let’s just say don’t overdo it!

So you already have a couple of things: taxi offer, hop on hop off, and let’s throw in a bottle of wine in the room, or a room upgrade. These are already enough to start! Now you can select how to advertise – let’s say you are going to send out emails to your guests and you are also putting some (not too many) leaflets in the common areas – elevator for example. 

What to do now? 

Sit with your team, talk about upselling and brainstorm all the possibilities.
Think about the following groups: in-room services (beverage, birthday cake. You can also save this image below for later to think about what are you going to promote at your property.

Feel free to save this cheat sheet

In our next articles you can learn about:

  • All the different ways to upsell & how to design an upselling leaflet or email. 
  • Identifying travel personas and what to upsell to them
  • Upselling packages
  • Segmenting your guests
  • Upselling in numbers

And much more.

Other articles we have written on this topic: 
7 Upselling tips that make hotel guests happier
10 tips on how to increase hotel revenue
Upselling ideas for small properties
Are you making these common mistakes with upselling?
3 Upsell techniques you must know
Our ultimate guide for revolutionary upselling

Hi! 👋 Andrew here; I’m GuestJoy’s Customer Experience Manager. Today, I want to talk about the frequently asked question our potential customers have: How long does it really take to set up GuestJoy?

One of the main reasons some hotels have apprehensions about introducing a new system – any system – is the question of time. How long is this going to take? How much of my and my colleagues’ time will it occupy?

These are very common and natural concerns. None of us are sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, waiting for something to do. We’re all busy – that’s why we have jobs – there’s plenty of work to be done!

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good opportunity to give you the full picture of what to expect when setting up GuestJoy for your property; from when you sign on the dotted line, to setting the system live.

First things first 👩‍🏫

Our customers constantly give us feedback that GuestJoy is a simple system to use, and we’re very proud of that! But the first step towards going live is to have an onboarding session – usually with me – just so you have all the information you’ll need and know how everything ticks in the GuestJoy app.

This session takes no more than an hour, so the only thing that will affect how long it takes to go live is how soon you can make the appointment!

Who should join the onboarding session? 🤔

A simple rule would be that just the people who will make decisions on how GuestJoy is configured should attend. A definite benefit of the session is that we’ll make some key decisions together about how you want GuestJoy to work, which further streamlines the whole process.

For staff whose only responsibility in the system will be, for example, fulfilling the order requests that your guests submit, then it’s very easy to show these staff what to do yourself.

If you can’t get all the necessary staff to attend the one onboarding session, then don’t worry. We’re more than happy to do additional sessions as required, and it doesn’t cost you anything either 🙂

Customizing the app 🛠

Now it’s time to start configuring GuestJoy to match your preferences.

We always recommend setting up the emails you want your guests to receive as the first task; after all, emails are the fundamental driver for everything that GuestJoy does.

Remember that you can have emails being sent to your guests pre-, during-, and post-stay for various purposes, but the minimum that we recommend having in place from day 1 is a pre-arrival upsell email, a post-stay feedback email, and a feedback reminder email to help capture those extra reviews.

Customizing emails in GuestJoy is easy, and dare we say it, fun! All you need to do is add your property’s images in place of our example ones, customize the text of the email, and decide when the email should be automatically sent to your guests. Simple!

Next up are the services, products, and upgrades you want to offer your guests. During the onboarding session, we will have discussed examples of interesting offers, and also what you feel you might be able to offer your guests. It’s also likely we will have set up one or more real offers as well, so you should be well on your way.

Naturally, when you go to add new offers, we have some templates for the most common and best-selling ones, so you don’t always need to start from scratch!

Then you will have some operational decisions to make, such as who should receive the notification emails from GuestJoy for different notification types, and adjusting some other settings to suit how you want GuestJoy to work for your property.

Final inspection 🔍

Naturally, once you feel you’re ready to go, we’ll have a look over your configuration to make sure everything looks right, and we’ll make suggestions for anything we think could be improved.

From that point, you simply need to decide when you would like to go live, and you’ll be up and running!

How long does it actually take? ⏳

Of course, there are many factors that can affect how long it takes to get things up and running.

The most significant would be the languages you want to have active; GuestJoy currently supports 20 languages, so each one that you have active will require time to add the content for it.

Beyond that, there are some human factors to consider, and these are usually due to the size of your property. For example, in a larger hotel, multiple departments might be responsible for different aspects of GuestJoy, and as we all know, sometimes they operate at different speeds!

Having said that, the actual effort is not great and will not take a lot of time; it’s more down to how long people take to make decisions.

In smaller properties, or where a single person has been put in charge of setting up the system, things usually move more quickly.

In most cases, our customers take 3 to 4 days to complete the setup, chipping away at the tasks here and there as they go about their regular routines.

We even have many customers who have set up GuestJoy for their property in less than an hour!

Definitely not a project 🎉

I suppose the main takeaway I’d like you to have from this article is that implementing GuestJoy is not the same thing as implementing a new PMS, revenue management system, or just about any other large-scale system that you find in properties of any size.

Phenomenal support whenever you need it 💪

Add to that our absolutely stellar level of support. We pride ourselves on having friendly, useful, and above all, responsive help for all our customers.

If you have any questions during the setup phase, the quickest way to get an answer is via our in-app chat. There are no bots – you’ll be talking with one of our team members right away.

If you’d prefer to send us an email, you won’t be waiting days – or even hours – for a reply.

Again, we aim to reply to emails as they come through to us; and even if we aren’t able to provide you with a resolution with that first response, we’ll still be treating your request the way we’d like our own to be!

You’ll wonder how you ever survived without it 🧐

GuestJoy is a powerful, yet simple to use platform which, without a lot of effort, will be up and running for your property in very little time.

And once the setup is done, GuestJoy doesn’t take up any of your time day to day. It will happily run in the background, automatically; when a guest requests something, then it will be up to you and your staff to do what they do best – providing the human side of the guest experience!

Environmental change is surely a ‘hot’ and important topic. Hoteliers all around the world now realize that they can participate in curbing plastic waste and environmental issues. Various certificates, such as the Green Key are issued so guests can make sure that their traveling choices have a lower environmental impact. Sustainable accommodation is now a hip travel destination!

In 2015 about 66% of customers said they are willing to pay more for a brand that is environmentally conscious. So, changing the practices at your hotel is not only appealing to guests who are environmentally conscious but in the long run, it will really pay off. Some of our customers are already on the greener path, let’s see what makes them so special:

The Íslandshótel group, Iceland

  • Pledges sustainable profit
  • Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Certified with Nordic Eco-labeling
Fosshotel Eastfjords

The Íslandshótel group is part of the official Icelandic environmental and quality system: Vakinn. They support and promote environmental awareness and social responsibility. This all sounds impressive, but what do they actually do to help the environment? The group purchases only environmentally friendly equipment, products, and services when available; uses local, organic produce for food and limits the use of chemicals to the minimum. Besides that, they provide information and easy waste management to the guests, train and educate staff on current environmental issues and try to raise awareness. (Source).

Hotel Haaga Central Park, Finland

This might come as a surprise to people living outside the Nordics, but some capital cities have nature trails within them. Located in Helsinki, Hotel Haaga encourages guests to take walks and hikes in the nearby nature trails with walking sticks, bikes, and other gear that one can freely acquire at the reception. The kitchen operates fully organic, waste is separated and sent off to recycling. Hotel Haaga’s staff is carefully and regularly trained, information on environmental impact is provided all throughout the guest cycle and green modes of transportation are heavily encouraged. Additionally Haaga’s spa functions with only organic treatments (Source)

Nordic Hotel Forum, Estonia

  • Green Key certified,
  • Socially responsible

The Nordic Hotel Forum operates its kitchen with locally sourced produce, encourages guests to hike in the Estonian countryside and to take a green transportation method when exploring Tallinn. Cleaning is done with eco-friendly materials and minimal chemical impact. Guests are informed of their impact and encouraged to separate their trash. The hotel also pledges to not discriminate when it comes to guests and employees and regularly participates in local charities both with manpower and financial means. And guess what. They even have their own urban bees.  (Source).

The Sokos Hotels,  Russia, Finland, Estonia

The Sokos hotel chain is a special one. Operating in three different countries, it uses different methods to stay green. For example, it upcycles, donates and reuses their old furniture with the help of various local charities. At the Sokos hotels, the staff is trained to work eco-friendly, all cleaning materials are green, and there is always a chance to recycle waste. Low emission transport is encouraged and guests are informed about what they could do to lower their environmental impact. (Source).

A 2018 study shows that most people prefer sustainable, but it can be exhausting to do everything right and environmentally friendly.

Make it easy for your guests. These above-mentioned hotels have spas, fine restaurants, and deluxe suites; everything you need for a lavish holiday without the environmental impact. We can give you some tips on how it is done.

Get your whole team involved

1.) It’s a key step! All of the above-mentioned hotels regularly train their stuff to stay up on their ‘green game’.  Jot down some rules and ethics you all believe in and your Corporate Social responsibility regulations are done! You can also put this up on your wall or social media to (re-)brand yourself as socially or environmentally conscious, according to a study done by Forbes, 81% of younger people appreciate that.

2.) Skip the cleaning! Most hotels accommodate a lot of guests who stay for only 2-3 nights.
The daily cleaning and changing of towels use a lot of resources while most of us do not change our towels and clean our rooms at home every 2 days. And think about all the time and effort your staff put into this daily maintenance. You can skip all that!

We asked around among our clientele: would you be willing to forgo the daily cleaning and a fresh set
of towels if you’d gotten a drink instead? The answer was 100% yes.

Offer them something, like a complimentary prosecco in their room or a drink at your bar if they are willing to skip on the daily maintenance. Getting a cocktail and going green at the same time? Hell yeah! Not to mention this will be easy on your expenses as well.

Check in online!

3.) Go paperless! Use a tablet for the check-in, and digitalize your back office. As for selling your extra services and products use an online platform, such as GuestJoy, that is available for guests via a wifi landing page.

4.) Incentivize greener commute both for your employees and for your guests. This is another thing all or our sustainable clients do. Put out a rack in front of your hotel or down at your parking lot (that might also make guests and employees feel safer about their bikes). Even if you are a business hotel you can invest in a couple of bikes and rent them out to your guests, it’s pretty cool to bike to work nowadays. Moreover, they can keep the bike for the rest of the day and explore the city while exercising.

The Dutch royals going green. Source: Bicycledutch WP

Invest in sustainable products

5.) Ditch single-use plastic! Metal, glass and plant-based plastic products aren’t just environmentally friendly, they are a lot more chic too. Get a couple of baby plates and sporks, invest into aluminum or paper straws and get some paper or plant-based to-go cups and lunch bags. Try giving small soaps instead of the regular (plastic) bottled toiletries (if you want to keep it luxurious team up with a local artisan soap shop).

6.) Install multiple trash cans instead of just one. Of course, this depends on which country you are in, and how the local waste recycling is done. Nevertheless, you can have a few options for separating garbage: plastics, metals, paper, biodegradable and rest.

These paper straws are just so much more instagrammable!

7.) Donate or upcycle what you will not use anymore. If it is legal food could go to a homeless shelter, such as duvet sets, and let a local hip furniture maker take care of your used furniture. You might be able to hang it up later as ‘art’.

So what is in it for you?

  • People love to think they are making a conscious choice, especially if it is easily made for them by you. They will feel happy about their stay at your premises.
  • You will cut your costs most likely by saving on water and other resources
  • Re-branding with Corporate Social Responsibility will strengthen your name and potentially draw more customers to you.
  • You will definitely gain support from Gen-Z and the millennials who are traveling.
  • A fancy label like Green Key will always catch customers’ eyes
  • And finally: saving the polar bears.

Today’s post was written by Andrew Martin – GuestJoy’s Customer Experience Manager

  I have a confession to make. It isn’t easy to admit it in this sector but… I’m an Airbnb traveler.


The forbidden logo

  There. I said it. Please don’t judge me too quickly! I use Airbnb when I travel for leisure. For me, it’s about simplicity and convenience. I want to stay somewhere central, cheap, and basic. When I travel for leisure, all I want is a place to sleep at night, and I am out and about discovering during the day. I don’t want your upsell! During the holiday I had in Spain in April, I visited Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid. In all 3 cities, my wife and I sought somewhere to stay in the best location possible so that we wouldn’t lose any time making our way to the sites we wanted to visit. But this was not the only way that I travel. In my previous role, I had to do a lot of travel. The length of stays ranged from a night to a week, and when I was on those trips, my guest persona changed. Suddenly, I was happy to spend some of my own money on upsell offers, because I wasn’t paying a cent for the trip! The same goes when I was on my honeymoon, which was a 3 week trip around Japan. Was I trying to put a smile on my wife’s face with surprises and experiences on that trip? You bet I was! And the majority of what I spent was with the hotels we were staying at.

Know the personas at your hotel

There is probably a wide range of types of guests who stay at your property. Naturally, some types will stay with you more than others. When it comes to upselling, these are the guests you are most likely to target. Let’s choose a few common guest personas before we go any further: Couples on holiday: They feel as though they’ve earned themselves a break, and part of that includes staying at your hotel. It might even be their first trip away without the kids! Celebrators: These guests love the idea of staying in a hotel as part of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. They’re always looking for ways to make their stay more memorable. Wealthy retirees: They’ve worked hard, the nest is empty, and now enjoying themselves is their prerogative. The subconscious motto of “We’ve earned it!” drives them to spend more on a special experience while at your hotel. Knowing the guest personas at your hotel allows you to formulate offers that really appeal to their needs or desires. This should be any hotel’s priority when it comes to creating an upsell strategy. But determining what you intend to sell is only the first step. Today, hotels need to do more than just present guests with a product or service that they might be interested in.

Think about why many guests choose a hotel over an Airbnb

Remember before, when I was sheepishly confessing to you my preference for Airbnb when I travel? That’s all well and good for me. But for a hotelier, the advent of Airbnb and its competitors has taken a chunk out of hotel revenue. Your revenue. And they did it because they saw a segment of travelers who weren’t really interested in extra products or services. Here’s a quick hypothetical: How many Airbnb travelers have ever ordered a bottle of Prosecco? How many of them upgraded their room? Did any of them ever book a dinner in the Airbnb’s restaurant? We know, of course, that none of this has ever happened – because that isn’t why they stay at an Airbnb property. The same logic can be applied to a large proportion of your guests: Many of them choose to stay in a hotel because they want the hotel experience. They want to feel cared for; they want the chance to enhance their stay; they want to be able to rely on your services. This is where hotels need to cement the biggest advantage they have over Airbnb.

Don’t sell a product or service; sell an experience.

Upsell gets harder the moment you forget to target the experience. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to connect with your guests’ emotions in order to engage them and foster the urge to buy. As the old adage goes; “Don’t sell a stay – sell a memory!”. With that in mind, we’re going to look at how to package your offers in a way that appeals to guest’s heart.

Prosecco: The current queen of in-room drink orders

At the moment it’s hard to beat the popularity of these Italian bubbles (Bonus tip: The new king will be Cava – be ready!). But even this humble beverage can be helped by selling the experience rather than the bottle itself. Selling the product: The good: The guest knows exactly what they’ll get, I suppose? The bad: It’s about as interesting as reading up on income tax laws. The image is purely utilitarian. Selling the experience: The good: The description empathizes with the guest’s arduous journey and invites them to relax and enjoy their favorite sparkling white. The offer name is charming and the image used humanizes the experience; the guest is relieved to have that glass in her hand. The bad: …Your staff will be busier fulfilling all those orders for Prosecco? If that’s at all a bad thing?

Packaging offers to sell more

The concept of the “Extra Value Meal”, a set combination of menu items, was created by one McDonald’s restaurant manager in 1991. Sales at that McDonald’s increased dramatically, as customers didn’t need to stare at dozens of items on a menu board to figure out what they wanted. This same concept works for experiences in your hotel. It’s one thing to sell a room upgrade with extras; another thing entirely to sell a package as an experience. Let’s have a look now:

Upgrade the experience – not just the room

Let’s now look at our Celebrators. The fact they are already at our hotel to mark a special occasion is already enough to know that they will be interested in enhancing their stay. And, what better way to do that by upgrading not only their room, but their whole experience? Selling the products/services: The good: Not much, honestly. The bad: Guests won’t be excited or emotionally involved after reading such a description. Selling the experience: The good: The emotional connection will be made, because the description focuses on the experience and the benefits of the package, rather than just describing each part of it. The bad: We didn’t have a better image to display, but I’m sure you can picture the scene with the cake and Champagne being displayed in the higher category room.

The Wealthy Retirees

These couples are more than willing to spend more when they stay in hotels, but only if you sell the right experience. They want high-quality experiences, and your offer should be written accordingly. Let’s see what the difference is: Selling the products: The good: Honestly, there is basically nothing good about this offer. We’ll explain: The bad: Starting with the image. Guests don’t need to see a picture of your restaurant; they’ve probably seen one somewhere already. Instead, show your guests the food they will be served! Whet their appetite with a simple image. Next, the offer title. It’s alright, I suppose; but it could definitely be improved. Then, reading the description – what’s the big mistake here? No information about the actual dishes! And zero effort to sell it as an experience. Let’s see how it can be improved. Selling the experience: The good: We’ve got a lot to list here!

  • The image is bright and attractive, and actually shows one of the dishes
  • The offer title is in French. It seems so simple, but ask almost anybody which language they associate with fine dining, and French comes to mind more often than not.
  • The language used in the description appeals directly to the guests: curates a new dining experience; focuses on high-quality local produce; 3 sumptuous courses; your dining experience; excellent local wines. These are the key phrases that our target demographic will react to most when deciding if they want to book their table.
  • The dishes are actually listed! The guest knows what they will get!

The bad: What do you think?

How to convert some of your offers into experiences

Now, not every offer can be described as an experience. Just how sexy can we make an airport transfer look?! However, it’s always worth having as many offers as practically possible which sell the experience the guest wants to have. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a marketing genius to do it. Just follow these simple guidelines:

Simplify the language

  • Try not to go into too much detail about the offer or the components of each offer. Remember – enough is as good as a feast!
  • Focus on the benefits of the experience, rather than the offer, or components of the offer.

“Humanise” the offer

  • Use conversational language – don’t just write a dry list of things the guest will get.
  • Use the appropriate tone for your hotel and target guests. Be mindful of the tone of your words, whether you involve humor, or keep things high class, and so on. Decide how you’d like guests to perceive your hotel, and write using a tone that instills that perception in the mind of your guests.

Don’t be afraid to be creative

Remember, your guests are at your hotel because they want the hotel experience. How creative can you get with what you offer them? Test out new ideas and see what clicks with them, and what doesn’t.

We are the experts in selling experiences.

If you’ve had a mini-epiphany after reading this, but are not sure where to start – talk to us! We’re more than just a software company. We’re experts in helping hotels master upsell strategies like this and increase revenue. But more importantly, we’re great at helping you connect with your guests. So… What are you selling?

When on holiday, a lot of people prefer small places with a history and a personal touch. Guesthouses, apartments, B&Bs, and boutique hotels are getting more and more popular.

Guests like when you cater to their needs, and enjoy getting to know their hosts and the local culture. Having said that, many guests who choose these properties might not want to compromise on the hotel experience.

We’ve put together some tips, based on actual data, to make sure your guests feel most welcome while you generate revenue for yourself. Make sure you include the best local businesses.

Room upgrades

According to our data for boutique hotels and similar properties, about 20% of the guests are willing to pay an extra 15-20 euros per night for a room with a view or balcony, or some extra space. These upgrades make up approximately 30% of extra revenue in such properties.

Be creative with the title of your room upgrade. People are more likely to take it when it’s presented as: “A guaranteed beach view for only 15 € extra”


They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you are not already offering it, this would be a great thing to upsell.

After having a warm cup of coffee or tea and a full stomach, your guests will definitely leave your premises with a smile on their face. Try to do something simple; for example, arrange delivery from a local bakery, and set up a selection of regional cheeses and jams for a local, homemade touch.

You can also put together a breakfast to go package with a cup of coffee for those who have an early flight.

Romantic touches

If you manage one of those places where couples go for a getaway, this is definitely something for you. Selling cakes, bonbons, fruit or cheese platters always performs well.

Optionally you can arrange balloons, bouquets, roses or rose petals on the bed for those who wish to surprise their significant other.

You can also go all out and combine these in a birthday/romantic package for a higher price.

According to our data, bottles of champagne and wine also sell well, account for about 28% of extra revenue.

Transportation and tours

Your guests often fly to your location, and some might prefer to take a taxi to your establishment. This is the perfect opportunity to partner with a transfer service.

Additionally, if you are managing a hotel in a more remote area, you might want to couple up with a car hire company so your guests can go and explore themselves.

If your property is in a historic area, for example, add a tour to the local must-see sites, or ask a company to pick up your guests at your premises.

The little things

These are the little things that you could provide for a small fee that would just make your guests’ stay that much better. Who wouldn’t want to slip into a soft bathrobe and fluffy slippers while sipping coffee or tea with a selection of local cookies after a day of wandering in town?

You can also provide a pre-packed local delicacies package which your guests can purchase and consume while they are on holiday or take home as a gift.

For the real fancy ones, you switch your go-to soap and shampoo to some local ‘deluxe’ skincare products.

Early check-in and late check-out are also great options for easily increasing revenue.

Remember – managing a small property doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from offering your guests products and services to enhance their stay with you.

At GuestJoy, we’re experts in helping all types of properties maximise their upsell potential, so talk to us if you’re ready to unlock all this potential revenue now

Summer is fast approaching! Which of course means peak season for most hotels; coming with a lot of pressure and work. More than any other time of the year, guests are willing to spend money on their holiday, so we would like to share some knowledge with you on how to provide your visitors with the best seasonal offers in order to up your product and service sales. If you summer-tune your services, they’ll appeal more to your guests. What to focus on? During summer people want to be happy, tan and healthy. They want their Instagram to blow up with pictures of cocktails, ice cream and beautiful sights. Most guests are on a romantic honeymoon or on a family holiday.


A refreshing glass of gin tonic or prosecco waiting for your guests down at the bar could be a summer welcome drink. Fruity and colourful cocktails are definitely a total hit. You could also add iced coffee, affogato or a frappe to your summer drink menu.


Change up your menu a bit! Include items which are labelled ‘deluxe’ or ‘premium’. Try to offer light, seasonal dishes with fresh produce, such as salads, barbecue meat, Mediterranean dishes (like a tapas selection) and fruity desserts with berries, and tropical fruit. If you would like to sell more, try to include 3-course dishes in your menu for a fixed price.

Spa offers

In the summer, everyone wants to look glowy and tan. Try offering cleansing treatments, glow enhancing treatments, or try discounting a session in your tanning bed. Even if you are not working at a spa hotel, you could hire a masseuse and offer something like a refreshing summer massage. Or as a small extra, you could partner with a local beauty salon to offer perfect nails and hair for the vacationing people.

Family package; Romantic package

A lot of people are on holiday with their family or partner. For families, it is important that the parents can rest during their vacation, and enjoy your facilities as well. Offer something along the lines of daycare, or a child program for a couple of hours. You can also make a kids package, a little basket that includes (healthy) snacks, some movies and a pack of cards or small game to play with. A similar thing would work for couples as well, offering a basket of goodies, prosecco, bonbons, or chocolate coated strawberries.

Options for late arrivals, late sleepers and early birds

It is your guest’s summer holiday, so be flexible and give them options that make their stay perfect. You can offer a late night snack or sandwich for those who arrive very late at your facilities. And you can also provide a late breakfast option for those who wish to sleep in the next day, or a go-to meal and coffee combo for those who have an early flight to catch.

Is your hotel ready for summer?

The all-important high season is just around the corner – we hope you had an “ah-HA!” moment reading through these tips! And if you’d like to find out more about how GuestJoy can maximize your summer revenue, while providing your guests with the best possible digital hotel experience, get in touch with us