GuestJoy releases “Digital Guest Directory” module

GuestJoy now covers even more of the guest journey, ensuring guests have a seamless stay, and hoteliers can update their directories with ease.


Tallinn, Estonia, January 10th 2022: GuestJoy’s mission is to make it easy for hoteliers to provide their guests with a modern experience, and this is further underscored with the release of their new Guest Directory module.

Fitting in seamlessly with GuestJoy’s other modules, Guest Directory is certain to save hoteliers time and frustration, while enabling guests to access important hotel information in a way they expect to in 2022 – using their smart devices.

GuestJoy continues to lead the digital hotel experience revolution

“Adding a Directory module to GuestJoy’s suite of tools simply made sense,” comments Alar Ülem, co-founder of GuestJoy. “After the initial shock of covid, hotels started to take up our online Check-in module in earnest. It proved that at the end of the day, guests were happy to embrace digital hotel experiences, and so now we’ve modernized the guest directory experience as well.”

The Guest Directory module sits alongside GuestJoy’s other modules, including Check-in, Upsell, Feedback, and Announcements.

Simplicity was the goal in designing the module, explains Andrew Martin, GuestJoy’s Customer Experience Manager. “No hotelier looks forward to updating their in-room directories. In fact, it’s often neglected due to the time and costs involved. That usually results in half-measures being used as workarounds. I’ve stayed in many properties where the directory had single pieces of information “redacted” with a black marker, or entire sections of information covered with a sticker to update it, rather than re-print every directory. So, our focus was to make updating the information in the directory as simple as possible. This means that updating the directory can be done in seconds – instead of days or weeks – and with no cost associated with it.”

We’ve taken a process that could take days or weeks to do and brought that down to mere seconds, without any costs.

Andrew continued to explain the experience for the guest. “We knew that having an app to download was never going to be an option – there are simply too many hurdles with apps.

“First, will the guest actually be bothered downloading and installing an app for what could potentially be the only time they stay in that property? Do they have space available on their device? Is their device compatible with the version of the app? These barriers and more really do make an app a poor choice.

“Therefore, we opted for a web app, which is a website that looks and behaves just like an app on your phone. It’s accessed instantly by scanning a QR code, so it’s quick and easy. There are many benefits to QR codes as well; they can be printed and displayed in the room, as well as in any other part of the property. Also, they can be made to look quite stylish as well.

“With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent rules stipulating certain cleaning measures in hotels (or in some cases, guest expectations of such measures), a physical in-room guest directory was seen as both a complex, time-consuming cleaning touch point on the hotel’s side, and a risk of or being perceived as unclean from the guest’s perspective.

“With the advent of this great new module, hoteliers are in a definite win-win situation; no more putting off updating guest directories, and guests can access hotel information in a manner that they simply expect to in this day and age.” Andrew concluded.

GuestJoy’s Directory module is available on its own, or accompanied by the other modules to produce a seamless, complete guest experience.

About GuestJoy

A complete guest experience platform, GuestJoy enables hotels of all styles and sizes to provide their guests with a modern stay, with upselling, online check-in, announcements, feedback, and a digital guest directory in one.

Reach out to your guests with upsell offers tailored to them before they arrive at your property. Impress and delight your guests with upgrades, services, and products that will enhance their stay with you, all while maximizing revPAR – without your team doing a single thing!

Besides the Upselling emails, you have the possibility to send announcements to a select group of guests based on a date range. No more individual emails!

Our online check-in feature is seamless, easy to use, fast and fully customizable. This will save you time, work and it’s contactless.

Once guests are at your property, they can seamlessly access your digital room directory to find any property information they need – no app download is required.

GuestJoy’s feedback module will allow you to ask for reviews, retarget and handle any issue immediately.

What are your experiences within the industry in the past few months? 

It was a strange time. We have seen a lot of hotels closing. Some haven’t opened up since. But the ones that did are doing a lot to keep up with the new normal. They are looking for more digital solutions as we are all experiencing physical distancing, restrictions and the slow disappearance of high-touch places from hospitality. The physical front desk is starting to transform into more digital ways.

The older generations are not so keen on leaving their homes at the moment, they need a bit more security from the market. The way I see it there is also a certain age group who has started to travel already, and that is the people between ages 20-50.  So as a hotelier, you need to see how this age group travels and what their needs and expectations are. Most of these people already live in a digital age, and use their phones a lot during the day. They want to be connected, but they are not looking for a handshake or another type of physical experience; their preferred connection is digital. Quick, smooth and done already. 

Anything digital, especially prior to arrivals such as an email or online check-in is a way to make guests’ stay smoother and the time spent doing unnecessary things less. 

Are hotels competing now with Airbnb?

What do you see now, how do hotels cope with this? 


We work all over the world, and we see huge differences. In Central-Eastern Europe very often the solutions we provide are perceived as too much of a change, too innovative. While hoteliers there are always eager to learn, they are only now starting to see value in more digital solutions. 

On the other hand in Western Europe and the Middle East hoteliers are very engaged, already using online check-in and other software-based hotel technologies. 

We see a different mindset to how they perceive the current situation because surely things won’t stay the way they were before. The sooner a hotelier realizes this the better, you don’t need huge changes. Start observing your customers – what do they want? Is social media important to your brand? What makes their stay at your place unforgettable? 

Travel technology is exponentially advancing, as travelers change their expectations. 

I’m always pro-digital solutions because you minimize human labour, costs, and especially these days it’s important to function properly with a reduced number of staff. 

Unfortunately, I still see hotels thinking that everything will go back to normal, which, even without the pandemic, is just not true. 

So you think the industry will never return to its previous state? 

Well the capital cities are going to continue to experience fewer travelers until business travel and large groups return. It’s hard to maximize occupancy without these, and of course, current travel restrictions and the rise of Zoom are not helping. 

We are really looking forward to times when overseas and Asian-European travel will be on the same level as it used to be, but that’s unlikely any time soon. 

So what I can advise hotels in the meantime is to start standing out from the competition. 

It’s mostly domestic travel, so find those unique characteristics and selling points of your property that will be more attractive than similar hotels at your location. 

Also, engage with your community; if your occupancy is low, maybe you can rent out your banquet hall? Invite local companies for team-building activities, use your services for catering, or really try anything that can help engage with your locals.

Digital solutions are faster and easier

What do you think is the change that will come fastest?

I already see a lot of new concept hotels popping up. I think they are becoming really popular because the modern-day traveler prefers to stay somewhere just a bit more special than the classical hotel with a ‘nice room & nice breakfast’. Nice does not cut it anymore. It’s the same with a concierge as a hotel employee; they are not there anymore and that service has become digital. 

I talked about it a bit before, but hoteliers need to see their property as a destination, even though that’s usually associated with the country or region. 

Now your hotel also needs to be a destination. If you are unique, people will want to stay with you, and I see more and more hoteliers understanding this. 

A lot of our partners did remodeling lately. From rebranding your image to redefining the type of customer you’d like to attract, you can do all sorts of things to make your visitors stay memorable. 

A great example of a unique property that took the most out of this situation is the Le Bijou Hotel in Switzerland. They offered a ‘quarantine stay’ for 14 days, fully catered, accompanied by medical staff who could do regular check-ups if needed. It’s a new concept that probably will not continue after the pandemic, but it’s surely a good way to go about the current situation. 

Of course, changing anything and keeping up is challenging because of the rising competition from Airbnb, but think about what Airbnb does well.

Airbnb is popular for a reason. I believe that there is the same amount of interaction between the host and the guest, but it’s not done by a handshake. It’s fast and digital. Therefore we can skip the awkward and unnecessary smiling and small-talk. 

What type of product or innovation would be the first you’d recommend?  

Honestly, anything guest-facing. A digital solution that goes beyond and connects with the guest during the entire guest journey (obviously with an opt-out option). 

You might prefer an app or text message; there is no one way to go about it as long as you find a new digital way to approach the customer. 

However, it’s important to connect more with the guest than just at the point of reservation, and once they arrive at the hotel. 

With a messaging system you can also easily offer them a better stay, starting from a taxi transfer, to anything really; include as many other businesses and third-party vendors as possible. 

Personally I think digital is the new normal and the reception or concierge services as we know them now might entirely disappear within 10 years.

Press Release

Today, GuestJoy is formally announcing a new stream of functionality on its platform that will empower hoteliers to deploy online check-in at their properties.

The announcement comes as many hotels across the globe are slowly but surely preparing to either reopen their doors, or expand the number of guests they can host at a given time.

Even with new norms in place like masks, social distancing, and hand sanitiser, it’s completely understandable that many guests would not want to be standing in a line for long, if at all.

I asked Andrew Martin, GuestJoy’s Customer Experience Manager, to explain a bit of the background of the project, as well as how it will work.

Andrew: “It was born out of necessity; a push in product development that was just waiting to be embraced. 

One thing I have always been proud of with our product is that its development has always been shaped by the direct input and feedback from our customers. If it wasn’t something hoteliers needed, or it didn’t work the way they expected, we worked closely with them to form a feature that was fit-for-purpose.

This example is no different. 2020 is a year that has turned out as nobody predicted, and has indeed been devastating for many. There was a time when so many of us were locked down, and unsure of the future.

But the time has come to step out of those shadows and start to move forward. Over the past few months, GuestJoy has been busy fine-tuning some areas of our platform, and completely re-imagining others.

Understandably, when we spoke with both current and future customers, their biggest concern was as guests started to return and occupancy increased, things would start to look as they had before: crowded reception areas filled with guests waiting to check in.

Crowded receptions with long lines needs to be a thing of the past.

Even with new norms in place like masks, social distancing, and hand sanitiser, it’s completely understandable that many guests would not want to be standing in a line for long, if at all.

Flora: “And this is how we decided to focus on online check-in?”

Andrew: “Exactly. And actually, it’s much more than simply the act of checking in. We have added functionality in the app to actually encourage guests to check-in ahead of time”.

Flora: “So, can you give us an idea of how it all works?”

Andrew: “(laughing) Well, that’s tricky in one sense. One of the strengths of our platform is its flexibility, and to behave according to the needs of an individual property! But OK, I’ll give you a common example.

The first thing we did was to add a new pre-arrival email type. This email features a call to action that redirects the guest straight to the online check-in form. 

This complements the lineup of already powerful email types hotels can choose to activate for their property, meaning that any hotel can have a customised, targeted email campaign in place for their guests.

Something else we have been working on since late last year is adding more and more 2-way integrations to our suite of vendor partners. Making this a seamless experience for both the guest and the hotelier is one of our main objectives.

Flora: “Is it possible to have 2-way integrations with any PMS provider?”

Andrew: “In a practical or realistic sense, the answer to that is no. There will always be some vendors who aren’t willing to open up their platform, or the technology just isn’t there to support it.

This is one of the challenges of the hospitality sector; the effect of legacy technology holding large parts of the sector back, coupled with the hesitation by many to change and seek better solutions. But not everyone is like that!

One of the strengths of our platform is its flexibility, and to behave according to the needs of an individual property!

Flora: “Does this mean there are some customers who will miss out on the new functionality?”

Andrew: “The good news is, the answer to that question is a resounding “no”!. Customers can still take advantage of the online check-in functionality even if we don’t happen to have a 2-way integration with their PMS provider.

The alternative is that the information is instead entrusted to the hotel, where a staff member will amend the booking in the PMS. The end result for the guest is still a faster, simpler check-in experience, which is universally what our customers want, so it’s a great benefit for literally any property.

Flora: “You know I have to ask the nasty question about cost, right?”

Andrew: “Ha! I suppose it’s an easy one this time around! The best part of all of this is that we aren’t increasing the cost of the service for our customers. Instead we are increasing the value of our product to them.

Let’s be frank here. Software platforms like ours, and many others, are secondary systems for hotels. Are they important platforms? Sure; but if my PMS goes down, and my upselling platform goes down, I know which one I’m going to be most worried about!

That’s why we see it as vital that we’re always providing value to our customers, and in fact it’s something that continually surprises our new customers. We’re constantly hearing feedback such as “Really? I can do THAT as WELL?!”.

You see, with secondary (but still important!) systems, there are literally hundreds of different providers offering systems for all sorts of purposes. In theory, a hotel could have dozens of systems covering all manner of tasks or services. 

So why not streamline things a little? Save money?

GuestJoy is a truly unique offering in hospitality. No other system can provide industry-standard targeted upselling and cross-selling; automated guest communications; online check-in; guest feedback; online reputation boost, and still more.

Single-purpose systems really do need to justify their existence in this post-Covid-19 world. Now more than ever, hoteliers need to have lean operations and costs reigned in. GuestJoy is the perfect answer to that need.

GuestJoy is all about providing the best possible experience for your guests

When GuestJoy can consolidate several other systems and yet still be so simple to use for any staff member, more and more of our new customers are thrilled that they can cover so many things – in fact, the entire guest journey – on one platform.

It’s one of the reasons I love working at GuestJoy! We have such a multi-faceted app, that no two days are ever the same.

Flora: “That sounds great! So, do you have any sort of closing messages for readers on all of this?”

Andrew: “Sure, definitely. Hospitality, by definition of its name, is a sector where we won’t be hiding at home on Zoom calls forever. We will get back out there and we will see guests once more.

There was a very depressing time for most of us over the past few months, but, you know what? It’s time to move on from that. No more Zoom calls, board games and other fluffy marketing activities, or letting people know about our home office setups.

Keep the new webinars and baking tips, though; they’ve been great! 

But at GuestJoy, we’re all about the push to open up to guests once more.

We’re about recovering, and about helping our customers, and future customers, navigate that road to recovery by providing tangible, built-for-purpose tools that make their staff’s work easier, and make the guest experience fantastic.

We’re about action now. We’re about doing; not just saying. Join us, and you’ll wonder why you ever did things the old way!

Andrew Martin is GuestJoy’s Customer Experience Manager, and bridges the gap between hoteliers, their guests, and technology, ensuring that our tech is invisible at a hotel and only helps, not hinders.

GuestJoy and STAAH team up to connect visitors with hotels in a seamless way to increase guest satisfaction and enhance our global reach.


Leading cloud-based hospitality distribution specialist, STAAH, has partnered with GuestJoy, a leading guest communication solution for hotels, allowing properties to enhance the experience of guests and thereby improving hotel revenue.

Accommodation providers on the network of the two companies can not only expand their reach to both local and global travelers with STAAH Channel Manager, but now can also automate and increase guest engagement using the GuestJoy solution.

Connecting through one simple and efficient interface, and with access to real-time hotel booking information via STAAH Channel Manager, hotels will be able to upsell through daily intelligence and send review collection emails through the GuestJoy communication solution.

The partnership between STAAH Ltd and GuestJoy is fantastic news for the properties as it will assist them in significantly increasing guest engagement. The partnership will also help properties to improve their revenue stream and brand reputation.

We are thrilled to partner with GuestJoy, an established and forward-looking solution provider in the hotel tech space. We look forward to offering our clients this powerful connection which is sure to assist an increase in overall revenue and enhancement of guest experience, “says Tarun Joukani, Director – STAAH Ltd.

The integration is valid globally and properties of all sizes, from around the world, can make use of the platform.

We wanted to partner with STAAH to gain direct access to the growing number of properties that use its platform to power their distribution and allow them to better engage with their guests. This partnership will help accommodation providers gain a deeper understanding of their guests thereby engaging better and right,” says Alar Ülem, CEO & Co-Founder of GuestJoy.

About STAAH

Founded by Gavin Jeddo, a pioneer in the field of distribution technology, we’ve grown from a Kiwi basement start-up to a global hospitality technology specialist serving more than 10,000 properties in over 90 countries. We are headquartered in Auckland and have operations in New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, UAE, and the United Kingdom to service our expanding network.

The STAAH channel manager, our first and central technology solution, has an update speed as low as 45 seconds and brings down overbooking issues to a mere 0.13%! Our solutions integrate with more than 350 different services, including the world’s leading online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution solutions (GDS), property management systems and payment gateways.

Their Services

STAAH provides industry-leading technology solutions for hospitality distribution, direct bookings and digital marketing services.

Our products include Instant and MAX Channel Managers, a real-time online distribution platform; ConvertDirect and Max Booking Engines that helps property owners grow direct online bookings; InstantSite Websites, an easy-to-use website builder for hospitality businesses; ReviewMinder to help manage online reputation. Our technology is used by all segments of the hospitality industry, from the big hotel and motel chains to boutique properties, independent hotels, holiday parks and guest houses.

Upselling is a must if you would like to provide your guests with that little bit extra that will make them prefer your hotel to Airbnb and other short-stay apartments. It also generates extra revenue, so when you do it well, it’s a win-win.

There are countless articles on the art of upselling, but what does actual data show us? GuestJoy reviewed a year’s worth of upsell data from 25 countries across the globe from nearly 1000 hotels, to see where the most demand was from guests.

The results show us what guests buy; when they buy it; and in what quantities, to present you with an accurate picture of what actually sells in hotels throughout the year.

2019 All hotels, all regions

Wellness offers, such as spa treatments, massages, and so on were generally the most popular with guests, accounting to 20.4% of all services sold.

However, not all hotels have wellness options to offer, so we can safely say the best selling item is room upgrades, making up 20.2% of all items sold. Taxi services made up 18% and restaurant 16% of all purchases.

Share of total orders in hotels 2019
Note that Taxi often represents sales which actually have a low margin. These figures consider gross revenue as opposed to the net for your property.

What makes the most money? Wellness made up almost a third of all revenue earned in 2019. Room upgrades came in second, generating 23.8%, and Restaurants were a close third with 17.5%. Taxi would make a bit less than a fifth of all ancillary revenue, however, it is a tricky statistic to measure, given that the bulk of that revenue often goes to a third party, and a small amount goes to the hotel.

The easiest way to upsell is to provide room upgrades. The rooms are present, no need additional arrangements, while they also have the highest margin.

In terms of seasonality, there is a clear difference in the purchasing pattern of guests for each season of the year. During summer, room upgrades sell 4% more, and restaurant offers do 6% better than throughout the rest of the year. Taxi and room service is also a bit more popular, while wellness offers are not as frequently ordered.

Sales rates in hotels for summer and winter season

What doesn’t sell?

Flowers, children’s activities, and car & bike rental coupled together accounted only for 1.2% of all things sold. In fact, the data for flowers and rentals was omitted from the above graph because the share was so low that it would show as 0 at that scale.

Why do flowers not work anymore? Well, it is a grand gesture, but just as minibars, flowers are thing of the past. The guest can’t always take them with them when they leave, and in the end its just a bunch of plants dying right in front of them (and it’s bad for the planet!).

Guests want experiences, not just products. Experiences are what can make their journey that much better.

You can read more about selling experiences here, here, and here.

Small Hotels, Apartments and Boutique Hotels (max 59 Rooms)

There are some differences regarding the guests of small hotels. We can see that the guests of small hotels are looking for more comfort (not having to walk/use public transport when on holidays), and getting a bigger and better room. Beyond that, they order anything consumable – food and beverage offers. 

Guests of smaller hotels like to purchase taxi services the most, with that category making up almost half of all purchases (45%). The second-most purchased offer were room upgrades, however, it’s only 14% of all things sold. Third prize went to restaurant offers, but beverage followed it very closely.

Share of total orders in small hotels

While we can see that taxi offers sell the most, generally speaking, they are a very low-profit offer. So, as a GM from a small hotel, apartment or boutique hotel, we suggest you focus on room upgrades and food & beverage offers – on these you will easily earn more.

Regarding seasonality, taxi offers peak during spring, and drop off somewhat later in summer to early autumn. Other than that, there were no significant changes in seasonal purchase behaviour. 

Medium-sized hotels (60-100 rooms)

There are not many noteworthy differences in the purchasing behaviour of middle-sized hotel’s guests compared to the average consumption of all hotel-goers. However, it is important to point out that taxi services are not as significant as for smaller hotels. It is only the fourth-most popular item after room upgrades, restaurant, and wellness offers, which make up the majority of orders in these hotels. 

Share of total orders in medium hotels

What doesn’t sell? Car & bike rental and children’s services did not perform well throughout the year with, with only 50 orders for either flowers and children’s services, and a solitary car or bike rental.

As for seasonality, during the summer room upgrades sold a lot better, and restaurant sales were slightly up on the yearly average. Wellness sold significantly less than during winter. 

Summer and winter sales in hotels

Autumn made guests hungry; restaurant offers were the most popular, making up more than a quarter of all offers sold. Wellness offers sold best during winter, accounting to a third of all services purchased. 

In spring, people go for wellness and beverage. Conversely, restaurant dropped sharply, and room upgrade saw a slight decrease.

Large hotels (100+ rooms)

For the customers of large hotels, room upgrades and wellness offers were the most appealing, accounting for almost half of all purchases in 2019. Taxi services were a lot less popular than in smaller properties. Restaurant offers accounted for less than a fifth of all sales, making them a bit less popular than in small and medium-sized hotels. 

Total orders in large hotels. What did guests like the most?

Seasonality in large hotels also affected what guests bought and ordered. During winter (December – February), guests preferred wellness offers, which made up more than a third of all services sold. Taxi offers accounted for 20%, and room upgrades followed with just a bit less.

During spring, wellness was still very popular, while restaurant and room upgrade offers were purchased more than average. In June, July and August guests were keen on room upgrades, which made a third of all purchases. Wellness offers were still popular, while taxi offers didn’t fare so well during summer. 

Autumn is the time for eating! Restaurant offers were the most popular, followed by room upgrades and wellness. Taxi and beverage performed well also, it seemed people liked to stay comfortable during autumn, pampering themselves with various indulgences.

What sold in spring, summer, fall and winter season in hotels


In other words, the taxi services were very popular among the guests of large hotels from September to February, whereas it hardly sold during summer. We can take from this that guests heavily favoured avoiding the elements during the colder months! Wellness sells best during winter, while room upgrades sold best throughout summer. Restaurant offers performed best during autumn, and least during winter. 

In winter, wellness offers made up more than a third of all services sold, while during summer it was room upgrades, with a share of 28%.

Beverage offers consistently made up 9% of all sales throughout the year. Room service is at a low with 5% of all sales, however, during summer it is slightly more popular with 7%.

While large hotels did sell slightly more of children’s offers, car & bike rentals, and flowers, these offers are still the lowest-performing ones, thus they are omitted from the graph above. The reason behind why they sold a bit better is because larger hotels have the capacity to host fun children’s events, or even dedicated activities or daycare.  

Looking at different regions

Central Europe – Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary

Throughout the year taxi was the most sold item generally, and for each month too. They made up half of all sales each month, and during spring that rose to 60% of all sales. The second-most sold item was beverages, which is not surprising, given the wide popularity of Czech beers, Hungarian wines and beers and Polish spirits!

Beverage, as a category, is also used as room service. Hotels often categorise an offer in our platform as a beverage service when it includes, for example, a small cake or chocolate-covered strawberries. Central Europe is a place for romantic travellers and couples, which goes some way in explaining the popularity of those offers. The third-most purchased item was room upgrade; maintaining the status quo across the 25 countries in which GuestJoy is active.

Central European hotel sales


Regarding seasonality, the hotels in this region sold taxi offers the most in spring and autumn, and the least in the winter. Restaurant and beverage offers sold the best during winter. Beverage sold the least during summer (perhaps people are drinking outside and not in their hotel room) and restaurant sold the least in the spring. 

In the region of Central Europe, beverage, room upgrade, and wellness offers will earn you the most revenue

Room upgrades sold the most in summer and the least in spring, with a difference of 8% more being sold during the summer season. Wellness services made up about 10% of the revenue for each season except spring.

Ireland & UK

Restaurant offers performed the best in the region during 2019, making up more than a third of all sales. Room upgrades were a close second, accounting for exactly a third of all services sold. Beverage came in as the third best-seller. But having said that, at a share of only 8%, you can see just how significant restaurant offers and room upgrades were in this market!

What sells in a hotel in the UK or Ireland

Just like in any other region, room upgrades sold best during summer, accounting for 40% of all sales, while restaurant made up 33%. Generally, throughout the year both restaurant and room upgrades fluctuate between 27-40% of all things sold, and together made up about 60% of purchases. The remainder accounted for less than 10% on average.

During autumn, people headed to the restaurants, with 38% of sales registered there. Room upgrades were a decent 33%, while wellness became somewhat significant with 10%, and room service being the last significant category with 7.7%.

Room upgrades made up 40% of all services purchased during the summer season, while restaurant offers made up almost 40% during both spring and autumn.

While room upgrades and restaurant offers account for a total of 59% of sales, the most interesting point was that winter warmer drinks were popular during the coldest 3 months, accounting for 17% of all things sold!

During spring, the performance of restaurant offers was at its highest, accounting for almost 40% of all services ordered. Room upgrades were at 29%, and surprisingly, front desk services (that is late checkout, early check-in, etc) climbed up to 10% of all things sold.

Iceland

Iceland is a very special travel destination. People don’t go there for the same reasons they would visit a Tuscan village or a spa hotel in Vilnius. Iceland is a place for the adventurers.

However, interestingly enough people do purchase food options and beverages in Iceland quite often, with restaurant offers making up 56% of all upsell revenue. As one of our good Icelandic friends Birkir explained, Icelandic food is very special and interesting; and it’s one of the best things to do if it’s a bit too cold! Moreover, with the current craft beer hype, local craft beers are a must-sell for a hotel.

Front desk services sell particularly well in Iceland compared to other regions. One of the reasons for this is that it seems flights to and from Reykjavik seem to have odd arrival and departure times. Consequently, guests order things like early check-in and late check-out in higher numbers.

Iceland sales

Room upgrades are the second-most favoured option to purchase; after all, at the end of a long day of adventures, guests like coming back to a big and comfy room.

Seasonality in Iceland is definitely different than in the rest of Europe. What we can see from our data is that taxi offers to perform the best during early summer, and throughout winter. Restaurant offers perform best in summer and autumn. Beverages are popular during summer. 

Children’s offers are pretty much absent in the case of Iceland, given the fact that people don’t tend to take younger kids there; and while some hotels still try to sell them, flowers were hardly relevant to guests, with only 2 sales thought the course of the year.

Estonia

We couldn’t write this report without an acknowledgement of our home base!

Estonia is actually the first country where we would not necessarily advise hotels to have a taxi service at all. This can be attributed to a few different factors; for example, Tallinn Airport is so close to the city, being easily accessible by both bus and tram. Also, Tallinn Harbour, where a lot of Scandinavian tourists arrive in the capital is located near the city centre.

Estonia

Wellness performs best both throughout the year and individually for each month. That’s due to many of our Estonian customers being spa hotels, in line with Estonian sauna culture.

The second-most popular offer is room upgrade, making up about 19% of all orders. There are, however, some fluctuations in the sales of room upgrades; during summer rising to 24%, while autumn that figure falls to 16% of all orders.

Beverage was the third-most sold offer in Estonia, making up more than 20% of all during autumn. Restaurant options made up 8% of all things sold during summer and winter, while accounting for 10% of all things sold during autumn and spring.

Our advice and key takeaways

While taxi services are very popular in many markets, they do not earn a lot of revenue for a hotel. Despite this, they are still a worthwhile thing to offer to provide your guests with convenience and a smooth, stress-free start to their stay with you.

But if you want to maximize your hotel’s earnings, then it’s best is to have wellness (where possible), room upgrades, and restaurant offers (where applicable); these three categories tend to make the most money.

 Selling experiences is always a great choice; package multiple services and/or products together, such as a room upgrade with food/drinks, or a late check out. 

Some ideas for that are found via these links: here, here, and here

During 2019, offers for late check-out and early check-in became far more popular; to the point that we recommend that every hotel should have at least one of them; they are margin-heavy, yet simple things to sell.  

Key takeaways:

  • Generally speaking, the most purchased offers types were room upgrade, restaurant, taxi, and wellness. Think about whether you could include these in your upselling, and how would it fit your hotel’s marketing.
  • Taxi options work best for small hotels (though the margins are small, they do make for a positive guest experience).
  • There are services/products that generally do not sell anymore; these include flowers, car & bike rental, and children’s offers. Unless your hotel is specialised in families, you could possibly omit all these from your upselling.
  • Seasonality is key; try to align your offers/services and marketing with that. 
  • Guests eat the most during autumn (just like hibernating animals?!).
  • All this data is of course based on our averages from 25 countries of nearly 1000 hotels. What could be generally concluded might not work for your particular accommodation. 

Seasonality is key; different services sell at different times of the year. Try to align your marketing and sales with that.

Obviously, this data can be unrepresentative of your sales, or irrelevant to your particular hotel and guests. These are principles we see in the data we have from nearly 1000 customers in 25 countries.

While we see that flowers do not usually sell, there is a hotel in the Czech Republic, for example, that sold 6 bouquets of roses on their first month – making some guests very happy!

As a hotelier, you know your guests best, so of course, take what you need from this report and put your personal experiences and creativity into making offers that you could surprise them with.

Here are some of our upselling ideas, in case you need a bit more inspiration:
For small hotels
Upselling mistakes not to make
About upsell in general
7 Upselling tips