Everything you need to know about guest experience in the hotel industry

The importance of guest experience in the world of hospitality is rising at a high pace. To be successful and remain competitive, hotels must provide an excellent experience rather than just reaching the basic level of expectations. Your hotel has to provide a stay beyond the guest’s hopes. So how do we achieve that? What do guests long for? This article will answer all your questions, but first things first.

What is guest experience?

Simply put, the guest experience is the overall satisfaction of your hotel’s guests before, during and after their stay. More explicitly it means that at each stage of their stay certain aspects create an emotional reaction, which helps customers determine if the experience reaches their expectations. During this process, a decision, whether to also recommend your hotel to fellow travellers is made.

These groundbreaking aspects can be anything from a simple booking and a quick check-in pre-stay experience to a smiling and helpful staff member at the hotel lobby during the stay.

Why is it important?

In the present-day digitalised world, hospitality in general relies on online reputation. Travellers research and make their decisions based on reviews and pictures more than ever before.

Increase guest satisfaction

According to Tripadvisor’s statistics, up to 81% of travellers frequently read reviews before booking a place to stay, with 78% focusing on the most recent reviews. Furthermore, the top reason (87%) for people writing reviews is simply to share good experiences with fellow travellers.

For this reason, complying with travellers’ needs and expectations is the most important thing to do. Satisfied guests contribute to your hotel’s positive reputation management and boost revenue through referrals and repeat business.

Decrease costs

Keeping your customers happy is the key factor in bringing in new potential guests. According to a study by Bain & Company, acquiring a new customer can cost 25-95% more without satisfied guests. Focusing on guest experience increases guest satisfaction which as a result creates long-lasting relationships with the right customers, brings in new ones and keeps your costs down.

How to achieve an excellent guest experience?

Top-notch guest experience can be achieved by truly understanding the emotional journey map and analysing how to make each touch point pleasant and easy for them. If you don’t have one, make one: here’s some help with that! https://guestjoy.com/blog/emotional-journey-mapping—what-is-it-and-how-you-should-do-it/(opens in a new tab)

Once you have found the positive experiences that seem to work, it’s time to evaluate the outcome. Ask for feedback, consider it and create a loyal relationship with the customer.

The 3 main components of the guest experience

The key to enhancing the customer experience is to concentrate on those 3 components also known as “the three C’s:”

  • Communication
  • Convenience
  • Choice


Your guests long to be heard, informed and taken into consideration. Good communication skills by your staff and contact options in your hotel allow you to listen to your guests’ needs, answer questions and solve problems and value their feedback. Guests will be more open when they feel connected, which leads to better guest experiences and customer loyalty.

Try enhancing your communication by

  • sending a detailed pre-arrival email to simplify the check-in process.
  • Encourage your guests to get in touch either at the property or online by making it easy for them.
  • answering their questions and solving problems quickly.
  • thanking them for staying with you, asking for detailed feedback and considering it.

Read about the importance of the hotel’s external and internal communication here (link to article)


Guests are becoming more and more time-poor. Doesn’t matter if it’s a business trip and working or holidays and spending days discovering the area. Guests need convenience, they need a worry-free stay.

Try enhancing your guests’ convenience by

  • providing a self-check-in option and having a ‘skip the queue’ key pick-up desk.
  • working together with local tour guides and restaurants to save guests some time with research.
  • provide a transfer from an airport.
  • include a special requests section when booking a room so that you can provide essential amenities for each type of traveller.


The highly competitive hotel industry is constantly raising the bar for guest experience and therefore a big part, if not the most important one of it, is now personalisation. Giving each customer choices to create their stay according to their expectations and helping them experience the place the way they want to, is the real key to your guest’s heart. This also allows you to show that you care about your customer and the things they care about.

Try giving your guests more options by

  • offering personalised packages (for example spa treatments for bleisure travellers, tour buses for Boomers, local food/drink tasting experiences for Millennials or Gen Z travellers etc.)
  • Let your guests decide when they need housekeeping (a sign of environmental sustainability).
  • asking about any special occasions.
  • having different ways to contact the hotel staff (telephones in the rooms for older guests, online self-service for the younger crowd.)

Other notable points of creating an excellent guest experience are:

  • Clean and tidy hotel
  • Safe and secure
  • Aesthetic and comfortable
  • Electric sockets and lamps next to the bed
  • Noise control
  • Helpful attitude by staff members
  • Fast service time
  • Good value for money
  • Provide free and fast Wi-Fi
  • Share clear directions about getting around the property and the local area

Know your customers to provide an experience exceeding their expectations: the types of guests

When in the process of working with the three C’s, it is also important to know your main crowd and audience to enhance the experience towards their profiles’ desirable preferences. Different profiles are attracted by various styles of hotels and that’s why it’s crucial to know which ones your place already appeals to. And then make it better!

  1. Boomers
  • Born between 1946-1964.
  • A few longer trips a year.
  • They often have a higher travel budget and more time to spend.
  • More likely to unplug their phones and communicate in person.
  • They are after an authentic local experience through food and culture.
  • More likely to book sightseeing tours with pick up and drop off through hotels.
  • Like going for loyalty programs.
  1. Millennials
  • Born between 1981-1995.
  • They make up 31% of the world’s population with an estimated 200 billion dollar spending power.
  • More likely to book shorter vacations with different destinations to fit working schedules and see more places.
  • Technology users – booking trips and researching.
  • They want to experience a new culture.
  • Like sharing their travels online.
  • They get inspired by social media posts, mostly Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
  1. Gen Z
  • Born between 1996-2010.
  • Technology users and less likely to unplug.
  • Like doing their research based on others’ experiences.
  • Don’t like sightseeing that feels too touristy and tend to not visit insta famous places.
  • Desire flexibility.
  • Eager to learn and experience local life.
  • Budget-conscious, but ready to spend more if it means experiencing something special.
  • Environmental consciousness – they appreciate sustainable choices.
  1. Business or bleisure travellers
  • Travelling for one purpose: work.
  • Their days are long and full of meetings.
  • Interested in restaurants and cafes with a calm working atmosphere.
  • Need a high level of convenience and comfort when coming back to the hotel to rest.
  • Bleisure travellers also make time for leisure activities and might extend their business trip into a long weekend to see the sights.
  1. Families
  • Slightly more millennials than boomers are doing multi-generational travels.
  • Mainly doing research and booking online (74% in the past 5 years).
  • They want to have shared experiences.
  • Prefer to have a learning element in their travels.
  • Tend to choose hotels that have kid-friendly programs/amenities and events.
  • The main goal is to book a place where everyone is entertained and happy
  1. Wellness travellers
  • Mostly females between 18-34.
  • They travel to take a break from stressful everyday life or to boost their physical and mental health.
  • They find retreats via Google search, friend referrals and Instagram posts.
  • Mental health is ranked as the top wellness priority.
  • Also interested in working out and other wellness options.
  • Environmentally conscious – sustainability influences their decisions.
  • Prefer all-inclusive packages – they want to switch off from their everyday life of making decisions.


Guest experience is a hospitality business’s main indicator of quality service. To remain relevant, it can’t be anything else than excellent. Polishing your hotel’s ability to deliver a top-class guest experience can be done by knowing your customer, understanding their needs and style of travelling and giving them what they expect at every touchpoint they have with you, from pre-arrival to post-stay. Exceptional guest experiences also launch a positive cycle of high guest satisfaction and a good online reputation which in turn will lead to more new and repeat business while keeping the costs down. 

In the hospitality industry competition is fierce! Every day, travelers worldwide choose between hundreds of accommodation options at any price range.

So, how will you stand out in the hotel industry? How will you show potential guests you are exactly what they need and desire? Through an effective marketing strategy, of course! 

Which are the best marketing strategies for hotels?

Although there isn’t a “one-fits-all” solution in hospitality marketing, there are basic strategies that will help you increase revenue, reservation rates, and customer retention.

However, before deciding which is best, you must build a hotel marketing plan based on your hotel needs. It will help you clarify your mission and goals. Besides, it will be the perfect opportunity to identify your target audience and your competitors and check what is happening in the industry.

To help you get started, I’ll present you with some of the best hotel marketing strategies.

Reward direct bookings

When it comes to hotel revenue, direct bookings are the holy grail! Every hotel marketer knows they must rely less on third-party channels to increase profits. Thus, the hotel receives the full payment instead of paying a commission on each new reservation.

How to increase direct bookings?

There are many ways you can encourage your guest to book directly with the hotel. And some of them are easier than you think!

  • Invest in SEO

Search engine optimization is the perfect tool to build a strong online presence. Start with a user-friendly website that your hotel guests can easily find. Present an intuitive built-in booking engine to encourage direct bookings. As a bonus, use social media channels and email marketing to stir up their appetite for a getaway.

Since people spend most of their time on smartphones, why not build a mobile-friendly website? Plus, upload high-quality images of your property and optimize the website content. You must guarantee your hotel ranks first in the page results! It will make your hotel pop!

  • Build a Loyalty Program

Customer experience is paramount in any hotel business. Besides providing excellent service, your guests must feel welcomed! Encourage them to book directly by providing exclusive offers through a loyalty program.

How can you make this happen?

–  Offer a room upgrade or a late check-out;

–  Provide special rates for repeated guests;

–  Apply a discount on hotel services;

–  Offer VIP amenities;

–  Provide a welcome drink and private check-in.

Where suitable, provide your VIP customers with their own check-in area

Besides rewarding direct bookings, you will also improve your guests’ overall satisfaction. A happy customer is the best marketing strategy! They will be more likely to return and tell their friends and family how wonderful their experience at your hotel was.

  • Improve communication with your guests

Hospitality is a people-focused industry. Hence, effective communication is a powerful tool you must use to build a meaningful relationship with your guests!

From the booking process, until the guests check out, you will use different communication channels. A customer relationship management software will help you provide a personalized guest experience. You’ll know their preferences, and it will be easier to assist them before, during, and after their stay!

Take advantage of social media

According to a study published in 2019, 52% of consumers say they were inspired to plan their next trip after seeing their friends or family’s social media posts.

These results show us how user-generated content transformed the way people travel. Since travelers look for recommendations based on others’ experiences, social media is definitely an improved version of word-of-mouth.

Because of that, you must use social media! How?

  • Build a profile and include links to your hotel website and email;
  • Invite people on your contact list to follow your property profile;
  • Promote follower engagement with surveys and incentives;
  • Post content on the local area, its landmarks, and main attractions;
  • Post new and updated content frequently;
  • Interact with followers and other businesses that mention your property.

Facebook and Instagram are the most influential social media in the travel industry. Although it’s possible to use the same content on both platforms, each has its own subtleties. Before posting, remember who your target audience is and which is the best way to reach them.

Understanding the subtleties between different social media platforms will help your master them

Alternatively, you can use paid advertising. Similar to Google’s pay-per-click (PPC), you can define your target audience and build a marketing campaign focused on direct bookings, customer experience, hotel services, or any other goal you might want to achieve.

Reconnect with guests through email marketing

Along with social media, email marketing is one of the easiest and most affordable strategies. In fact, it is responsible for 42£ of return on investment for every 1£ spent! For this reason, email marketing it’s a favorite among hotel marketers.

With this powerful tool, you can reconnect with long-time guests. Let them know about special offers, new add-on services, or the newly decorated facilities! Most of all, let them reminisce on the wonderful time they had last time they visited.

By sending them a message, you’ll be reminding your guests you are open for business and looking forward to welcoming them! You can also use email marketing once your guests checked out. It is a great opportunity to collect feedback on their stay!

How can you take advantage of email marketing?

Although it is one of the easiest ways to promote your hotel, there are some details you must consider:

  • Choose your target audience;
  • Define your campaign goals;
  • Build a mailing list;
  • Develop an appealing email template;
  • Decide how often and at what time you want to contact your guests.

You can do it the old-fashioned way: using a spreadsheet with all your guests’ emails and names and sending it in Bcc from your email address. Or, you can optimize your precious time and use customer relationship management software.

A CRM is a great way to engage with your customers via email

A CMS integrated with your property management system will allow you to gather details on your guests’ preferences to improve their experience. Additionally, a CMS allows you to use an automated email marketing strategy.

All you have to do, is choose a template, customize it and send personalized messages to your clients. It will help you bring in more direct bookings and build a solid relationship with your most loyal customers.

Before exploring all the benefits email marketing offers, you must learn about the current email laws. In the United States, Canada, and Europe, specific regulations protect clients’ personal information. As a result, before sending any message, make sure your customers authorize you to use their contact for any marketing purposes.

Establish a local partnership

When choosing their next destination, your guests consider a few details before deciding. They will analyze the hotel services and facilities and check the online reviews.

However, one crucial factor is the location! Where is the hotel located? What is there to do? Are there any museums, natural landmarks, restaurants, or amusement parks?

Your hotel isn’t the only thing guests want to see – what are the attractions and activities will interest them in your propery’s unique location?

As fascinating as your property may be, it’s very likely that your guests are eager to explore the surroundings. Because of this, I recommend building local partnerships to improve the guest experience.

Review your local area for services you don’t provide. It can be anything from dry cleaning to dog sitting or even a hairdressing appointment. As long as it adds value to your customer’s stay.

Additionally, show your customers the region’s history and culture. Collaborate with other business owners for a cooking class or a guided wine tasting tour. Promote a historical tour to show your customers all the details about the must-see places near your hotel.

The options are endless! As a result, your best strategy is to know your guests well and offer them unique experiences!

Marketing on Third-Party Channels

Whether you’re about to open a brand-new hotel or “refurbish” a marketing campaign, third-party channels are perfect to increase your property’s visibility.

The goal of third-party channels is to gather information on accommodation options and help prospective customers compare rates, services, and guest reviews.

As any hotel owner, I’m sure you dread the expensive commission fees. However, you shouldn’t focus on this downside! A partnership between you and a third-party channel helps you bring in new guests. Who knows? Perhaps some of these guests might convert into direct bookings!

So, who are the third-party channels?

GDS – Global Distribution Systems

In the 1950s, the increasing demand in the hospitality industry, especially for flights, led airline companies to offer add-on services, such as accommodation or car rental. This resulted in the creation of the first GDS.

Nowadays, travel agents worldwide use the GDS to check on hotel availability and get special rates, usually 30% cheaper than the retail price. How does this work?

The hotel’s property management system, or PMS, provides real-time rates and availability to the GDS and online travel agents through a channel manager. As new bookings arrive, the room inventory is updated to avoid overbookings. Once there are no more rooms, sales are automatically closed.

Where to find a GDS?

The most respected GDS in the hospitality industry are Amadeus, Sabre, and Galileo. Combined, these three organizations operate in more than 200 markets. They connect travel agents to airline and railway companies, car rentals, cruise lines, and accommodation businesses worldwide. With the right channel manager, you’ll be able to connect your property to a GDS.

Beyond that, the GDS offers you a few perks you don’t want to miss:

  • Great opportunity to identify new markets;
  • Another way to increase revenue;
  • Travel agents worldwide have access to your property regardless of time zone differences;
  • The reservation volume is larger than direct bookings;
  • Corporate clients often outsource their business trips to travel agents, which makes GDS perfect for attracting business travelers;
  • For travel agents, it’s easier and faster to book a room through the GDS.

Although the GDS offers a competitive advantage, you’ll be bound by a contract. Simply put, you cannot change rates as you will or close sales for travel agents and sell the rooms directly. A well-drafted contract will definitely come in handy to avoid such issues.

If you’re new to the hospitality industry, don’t be put off by how detailed the GDS is! Take some time  to understand how it works, and you’ll have a team of expert tour operators promoting your hotel worldwide!

OTAs – Online Travel Agencies

Since the internet appeared, the travel industry has changed drastically! Overnight, people could book hotel rooms, rent cars, and reserve flights without relying on travel agencies.

And the best part is that travelers could compare rates themselves or check for excellent reviews! It’s no wonder why online travel agencies, such as Booking .com, Expedia, or Trip.com became so popular!

For you, OTAs are another marketing opportunity!

It means you can list your property and provide high-quality photos and add-on services that will make you eclipse your competitors. Additionally, you’re free to decide about room rates or how many rooms you want to sell.

Even though OTA’s will help improve your online presence, they will charge a commission fee between 15% to 20% on each reservation.

Take the time to consider using a channel manager if you are going to list on several OTAs – it will greatly reduce your workload

If you promote your hotel on several OTAs simultaneously, then I’d recommend getting a channel manager. It will be easier to update rates and close or open sales according to your room availability. With a few clicks, all your partners will have updated information.

Metasearch Engines

In the early days of the internet, information was scattered all over the web. As a result, travelers would struggle when deciding which hotel to choose.

Metasearch engines, such as Trivago, Skyscanner, or TripAdvisor, appeared as a solution to this problem. Often labeled “information aggregators”, meaning they collect data hotels provide to OTA’s and present it to potential customers.

Nowadays, when your customers search for your hotel online, they will see several websites showing different rates and booking conditions for the same dates and room type.

To promote high conversion rates and increase revenue, you must provide the same information to all online channels. Also, you can add your hotel website and invite prospective customers to a direct booking.


Building an effective hotel marketing strategy will help you achieve success. However, it won’t happen overnight.

So, you must combine different strategies to maximize your hotel visibility. From third-party channels to email marketing or building local partnerships, your actions must focus on improving the guest experience.

Satisfied customers will be more likely to leave a positive review, return and bring in their friends and family! Moreover, remarkable customer service will help you stand out amongst your competitors and make the difference potential guests are looking for!

Today, information is available anywhere and at any time! As a result, the modern-day traveler is well-informed and in control of their travel plans. They know exactly what they need and where to find it.

As a hotel owner, your digital marketing plans must focus on promoting your property where your potential customers are. However, the internet is a vast place. So, how will your clients find you?

I’ll show you bullet-proof digital marketing tactics you can use!

What is hotel digital marketing?

First things first! Do you know what digital marketing for hotels is?

Basically, it refers to all tools you use to promote your hotel on the internet. The goal is to build a reputation online and become a recognizable hotel brand. You’ll be closer to your customers and potential guests. From posting on social media to contacting your guests via email, the options are endless.

Why should you promote your hotel online? 

An effective digital marketing approach will help you eclipse your competition, making it easier for your guests to find you online and book a room! 

Key hotel digital marketing strategies

In such a vast world as the internet, how will you know where to promote your hotel? Or what’s the best strategy to reach your ideal customer? 

In hospitality marketing (as in life), climbing a mountain only seems impossible until you take the first step!

1. Register your hotel on Google

Google is the number one search engine worldwide. It’s the primary source of information on any topic. And it’s also where most travelers search for their next destination. So, it’s paramount that you use Google My Business and Google Hotel Ads.

How does it work?

Google My Business lists your hotel on search engine page results, similar to a digital business card. When searching for your hotel online, your guests will see your hotel name, contacts, location on Google Maps, online reviews, and services available.

This strategy will help you gain more visibility and organic traffic. Besides, your guests will easily find your contacts and address. Booking a room or contacting your hotel has never been so simple!

Make sure you have a Google business listing so that your property is featured in the results when a guest searches for hotels on Google Maps

The best part? Google My Business is free to use!

On the other hand, Google Hotel Ads allows potential clients to see and compare room rates and availability online when looking for your hotel. 

When they decide to book, Google Hotel Ads will display a direct link to your website. It’s a great way to increase revenue and not pay a commission to OTAs.

2. Build your hotel website

It’s the best strategy to present your hotel online! It’s your digital home. And where you show potential guests all your hotel has to offer! Besides, your website is the perfect tool to increase revenue through direct hotel bookings.

Here’s a few digital marketing tips you must have in mind!

Think mobile-first

Smartphones are the most used device when browsing the web. In fact, it’s where people spend most of their time online. So, to reach your target audience, the user experience must be your priority.


When searching for their next destination, travelers prefer user-friendly websites where it’s easier to navigate and find clear information. If your website displays information in such small letters that you’ll need a magnifying glass, then potential guests will look elsewhere!

Use content marketing

Travelers are looking for the ultimate experience! With so many hotels to choose from, why book yours?

A well-defined content strategy will help you present your hotel differently. Build a hotel blog to promote your location and services. It’s a fantastic opportunity to show landmarks and activities close by.

How to take advantage of content marketing?

– Interview the hotel staff about their role in the guest experience;

– Create video content on local landmarks;

– Offer high-quality content about local culture;

– Write about what’s new at your hotel;

– Remind your guests about upcoming events.

Regardless of the type of content you choose, remember to prompt potential guests to book a room. 

Call your guests to action

Your website is up and running. And your blog is ready to educate potential guests about your location. But, there’s one thing missing… 

What’s worth having a mobile-friendly website if your guests can’t book directly? 

Make sure that your guests can complete their booking on their mobile device

Encourage them to start the booking process using several call-to-action opportunities. Yet, you must be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise, they will be put off by your pushiness.

Additionally, use a built-in booking engine. It’s a great way to convert! As a hotel marketer, it’s your chance to increase revenue, rely less on third-party channels, and provide real-time availability.

3. Invest in SEO

For travelers to see your website, search engines must find it first! And to do so, you must use search engine optimization, or SEO, the cornerstone of digital marketing!

The impact of SEO is staggering! It helps your hotel build a solid online presence, gain visibility and increase organic traffic. How? It will make your website rank first on the search engine results page. 

So, how can you use SEO to your advantage?

Analyze website data

Google Search Console (GSC) is a powerful tool that helps you analyze the website’s performance. How powerful? It allows you to gather precise information on your guests’ behavior and how they navigate your website.

Google has a number of free tools to help you understand your website’s performance

What data can you retrieve from GSC?

  • Your hotel website’s average position to a query;
  • Which is the click-through rate;
  • Identify your high-ranking pages;
  • Compare your website performance on mobile devices and desktops;
  • Check which websites link to you.

There’s much more in-depth information you can collect from GSC. Yet, these are a good starting point to plan your digital hotel marketing strategies!

Research Keywords

Do you know what words your guests use online when searching your hotel? If you don’t, then you’re missing out!

Keywords represent travelers’ intention when looking for your hotel online. When you analyze which keywords they use, you can build a strategy focused on solving their needs.

How to use keywords to optimize your website?

  • Target long-tail keywords;
  • Keywords should naturally fit your high-quality content;
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. It sounds robotic. People and search engines don’t like it!

These strategies will help search engine crawlers find your website. As a result, you’ll rank higher when travelers search for their next trip!

Optimize On-page and off-page SEO

Optimizing your on-page SEO means you’ll present information that search engines will easily find. Use target keywords in titles, headings, descriptions and content. It will help your rank on the top results page!

On the other hand, off-page SEO helps you build your website’s authority. How? Through backlinking! 

As a hotel marketer, use this strategy to have high authority websites in the hospitality industry pointing to your hotel website. The reward: search engines will see you as a reliable source and rank you higher!

How to build a backlinking strategy?

  • Post relevant content that’s valuable to your guests;
  • Partner with travel bloggers to share engaging content on your hotel;
  • Publish articles about your hotel on high-authority hotel industry blogs;

Once you’ve optimized your off-page SEO, monitor your backlinking strategy performance. If there’s a broken link pointing to your website, your ranking position might drop.

Improve your website’s loading speed

No matter how good your hotel’s digital marketing campaign is, a slow website will undermine all your marketing efforts.

Potential guests know there are other hotels around the corner and won’t wait for your website to load. As a result, they will leave before completing the booking process. Additionally, search engines will notice your website’s loading speed and penalize your ranking position.

4. Social Media

Social media is a must-have in hotel digital marketing. Social media content helps you reach your guests, build brand awareness, and get more direct bookings. 

Why is social media critical to hotel marketers?

Online users spend one-third of their time on mobile devices. Moreover, almost every online user is active on social media! Thus, if you’re not promoting your hotel on social media, you’ll be missing on fantastic opportunities.

However, before posting on every platform, you must choose one that suits your digital marketing goals. 


As a hotel marketer, Facebook is the perfect digital marketing tool to build a meaningful relationship with your guests. Besides engaging with customers, you can build a Facebook group to present your latest special offers, hotel trivia, and positive reviews. Additionally, use Facebook Ads in your remarketing campaign. It’s the perfect tool to improve your conversion rate!


It’s the most popular social media platform among younger generations. In fact, 71% of its users are millennials. Why should you remember this number? Millennials travel more than the previous generations and make up the grander portion of current travelers.

So, sign your hotel up on an Instagram business account and show off your hotel’s best features! Post stories and reels to show what’s new. Engage with followers through polls and surveys. Build a give-away campaign to find new followers! The options are endless! 

Moreover, your potential guests find inspiration on travel related content! So, why not use influencer marketing to promote your hotel? Influencers’ followers might become your new guests!


If you’re looking to promote your hotel to corporate markets, LinkedIn is the platform you need! LinkedIn users are professionals looking for relevant information for their businesses. So, you must target B2C clients. How? Post engaging content highlighting your conference rooms, company retreat services, or team-building facilities to event professionals.

5. Email marketing

It’s one of the oldest techniques in digital marketing! And the one most hotel marketers prefer! 

Studies show email marketing offers a staggering ROI of 36$ per each 1$ spent! It’s the most cost-effective strategy! Yet, there are other benefits in using email marketing.

  • Email users are everywhere;
  • It’s less intrusive than a phone call;
  • Helps you build brand awareness; 
  • Allows personalization and automation;
  • And it’s the fastest way to communicate with your guests;
  • It’s a great tool to promote customer retention.

Yet, to successfully build an email marketing campaign, you must follow a few steps.

Build a contact list

It’s the first stage of every email marketing campaign!

Ask your guests to fill out a contact form upon arrival at the hotel. As an alternative, use your optimized website to encourage potential guests to subscribe to your newsletters.

Regardless of the method you choose, guarantee you have your guests’ permission to send them promotional content. You don’t want to be labeled as a spammer!

Personalize your emails

Once your contact list is ready, segment your email audience, build specific landing pages and send them personalized offers. Depending on your digital marketing goals, you can develop an email marketing strategy focused on family vacationers, corporate travelers, or backpackers.

Reach your guests on the right moment

Email marketing and customer journey mapping are the perfect combo! Together, these strategies will sky-rocket your chances to convert!

Once you’ve identified your guests’ needs during each stage of their customer journey, you can guide them through the email funnel

Providing your guests with a thoughtful journey will result in more conversions

I’ll give you an example.

Joe is an old guest that subscribed to your newsletter a while ago. He read your latest email and visited the personalized landing page but hesitated in booking a room. 

You can help Joe decide! Provide further information on your customer service. Let him know how your hotel has changed since his last visit! Offering a special discount, VIP amenities, or a late check-out might help Joe decide.

Send follow-up emails

A few days after your guests’ check-out, send them a satisfaction survey and thank them for choosing your hotel. They’ll feel appreciated and you’ll collect precious data on how to improve your customer service.

Use email marketing to build an online presence

You can’t optimize emails to achieve the highest rankings on Google. However, you can use this strategy to generate organic traffic. 

Ask your guests to visit your website, follow your hotel’s social media pages or leave positive reviews on Tripadvisor. It will help you bring in new visitors and build a reputation!

How can you take your email marketing campaign to the next level? GuestJoy helps you find your guests wherever they are through email marketing. Segment your target audience, use customizable templates, and send them personalized information that will help you convert!


Whether you’re running a small B&B or an international hotel chain, hotel digital marketing will help you promote your property worldwide. Besides, it offers you a varied selection of methods and strategies that you can tailor to your hotel business needs.

One of those tools is GuestJoy! Alongside email marketing, GuestJoy software helps boost your reputation online, connecting your guests to TripAdvisor and Google. Additionally, you can send your guests surveys that will allow you to monitor your hotel’s performance. Book a demo, and explore GuestJoy’s services.

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 travelers 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 traveling. 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 a 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 traveler 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 for 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 travelers, 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. Customization 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, emphasizing 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, room service, 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 choose 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 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 guests 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 ‘advertise’? 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 travelers like to see different types of advertisements. 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 set 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 days 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 on 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 its 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 sustainability, 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 staff 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 a greener commute both for your employees and for your guests. This is another thing all of 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 in 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 the 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