The stay and spend scheme: how can you make the most of it for your hotel?

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So the long-awaited details surrounding the ‘stay and spend’ scheme in Ireland have finally been announced. There’s been quite a lot of discussion and debate over the last week in the hospitality industry as to whether or not the process customers will have to go through in order to claim back will seem too complicated for them to actually bother doing so.

We surveyed hoteliers on the issue and interestingly, 79% feel the process may be ‘too confusing’, with 17% saying they think it will ‘work well’. It was previously thought that instead of a tax rebate scheme, the government would provide the public with vouchers, which sounds like a simpler solution, however the logistics may have meant an even further delay in getting things going – and delays are not what the hospitality industry needs right now!

Regardless of how it’s done, the activation of the stay and spend scheme is good news for the hotel industry, and will surely provide a welcome boost over these coming months.

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What is the stay and spend scheme?

It’s a scheme that has been crafted to help drive sales during the upcoming ‘off-season’ in the hospitality sector.

It will enable people to claim back 20% from their bill, up to a maximum of €125 per person (or €250 for a married couple) in an income tax rebate to those who spend up to €625 (or €1,250 for married couples) in restaurants, pubs, hotels and B&Bs.

The easiest way for people to show their proof of expenditure is for them to take a picture of the receipt and submit it through the Revenue Receipts Tracker App. All they need to do is indicate that the receipt relates to the scheme.

It will be active from now (autumn) to spring next year.

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What can I do to encourage guests to use this at my hotel?

Add content on the scheme to your website 

The first thing you can do is add a page of content to your website about the scheme. Remembering what we’ve been echoing about giving your guests all the content they need for their stay in your area, do the same thing here. Provide them with all the details in an easy-to-read fashion so they don’t have to go searching for the need-to-knows! Make it as clear as possible. Link back to the Revenue.ie page too, in case they need more information on the fine print. You’ll be pretty familiar with the recurring questions from guests in relation to the scheme once it’s been active for awhile – add these over the coming weeks to your page of content as FAQs.

Create packages built around the scheme

Let’s stay on the vein of making things easy for your guests – how about creating packages built around what they’re entitled to claim back? €625 is the allowance for one person and €1250 is the allowance for married couples, so by creating inclusive packages, you’d be making it super sweet and simple for your guests to claim back using just the one receipt.

Educate your staff

Now especially, at this very early stage, people are still a little unclear as to how this all works, so make sure you educate staff on the scheme and its details. The last thing you want is to have guests turning away in confusion with a head full of unanswered questions.

It’s in the details 

Add it in as a custom message on the booking process, as a pop up message on your CMS & booking engine or as a credit card note on your reservation form – pick one of these, not all three! Be very clear and concise. Like anything Covid-related, you don’t want this information overpowering or taking over your site, you just want to make sure your guests are equipped with what they need, when they need it.

If you want to chat to us further on any of the above, contact your account contact, or email us at hello@netaffinity.com

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