How to manage the tourist tax which varies according to the season

Tourist Tax Hotel

The sojourn tax (or sojourn tax) is the tax imposed on people who stay in hotel or non-hotel accommodation facilities in certain Italian cities classified as tourist resorts or cities of art.

The tourist tax is different from municipality to municipality both in costs and in the methods of application. In fact, the methods of application of the tax vary and range from the payment of a fixed amount to a variable amount.

The ABC on the Tourist Tax

The Tourist Tax was introduced in 2011 and allowed Italian Municipalities with a high tourist turnout, the right to be able to apply a tax to those tourists who go to stay in hotels, hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites territorially present In the town hall.

It is important to know that:

  • The guest pays the tax to the structure that acts as a substitute tax, the hotelier will then have to pay the collected amounts as a tourist tax to the municipality;
  • The rates applied vary from town to town depending on the resolution of the city council;
  • The tax is determined per person and per night;
  • Each municipality can also decide independently the number of nights for which the tourist must pay the tax;
  • The tax provides for exemptions based on age and other characteristics that vary from area to area;
  • The amount of the tax varies according to the type of structure.

As already explained, the rates to be applied for the tourist tax vary according to the municipalities, as well as the amounts.

For example Luigi Verdi decides to stay in Rome in a 3-star hotel for 3 nights. The price of the tax for 3-star hotels is € 4.00 per day, consequently at the end of his stay Luigi Verdi will have to pay € 12.00.

Unlike the case in which Luigi Verdi decided to always stay in Milan for 3 nights in a 4-star hotel, where the tax reaches € 5.00 per day for a total of € 15.00.

How is the tourist tax managed?

First of all, the hotelier must inform the customer at the time of check-in of the application of the tourist tax, specifying the application rules, the amounts and describing which are any cases that allow exemptions to be obtained.

Subsequently, the manager has the obligation to declare in the period of time established by the municipality (it can be monthly as bimonthly) the number of customers who have stayed at the structure specifying the number of nights, and any exempt subjects, thus going to calculate the amount of tax to be paid.

Some municipalities make a web portal available to hoteliers through which it is possible to report the collected tax amounts monthly.

How to simplify the compilation

There is no need to have software dedicated exclusively and exclusively to the management of the tourist tax, it is in fact sufficient (and highly recommended) to have a hotel management software (PMS) that allows you to:

  • manage the calculation of the tax;
  • specify multiple age groups with the relative amount of the tax;
  • configure exemptions;
  • specify reductions;

The hotel management software must make available to the operator a clear and detailed report that allows the exact amount of tourist tax that has been collected to be communicated, thus avoiding errors.

How to manage the tourist tax which varies according to the season

Many municipalities provide for the application of the tax limited to the period of the tourist season, others apply it but differently according to the period of the year.

Some municipalities apply a different tax based on seasonality, for example from 1 January to 30 June they require a certain amount and from 1 July to 31 December another. Other municipalities instead indicate months in which the tax is reduced by 50%.

Some cities that apply a seasonal tax are:

  • Fasano
  • Gallipoli
  • Lecce
  • Napoli
  • Otranto
  • Ravello
  • Senigallia
  • Siracusa
  • Venezia
  • Viareggio

Manage the tax with Slope

The Slope management software allows you to manage the tourist tax in a seasonal way, going to configure different price brackets depending on the day of the year, thus avoiding making mistakes and facing penalties.

Strategies for setting rates and prices for children

Strategies for setting rates and prices for children

What are the main pricing strategies for children? How should I set up my pricing policy in order to simplify work and maximize earnings?

In this article we will talk about the difficulties of some hoteliers in the enigmatic definition of rates and prices for children.

We will reflect on how for some types of structures an accurate and meticulous definition of prices for children can be a source of revenue that should not be underestimated, while for other types of hotels the incidence of younger guests can be seen as a voice of negligible budget.

Family tourism: management of age groups and prices

The first step in setting a correct tariff policy is to outline the age groups of the children. Defining the age groups exactly allows you to segment the price even more scrupulously, so as to have a clearer sales strategy.

Once this is done, it is necessary to understand the ways in which prices can be defined, i.e. whether to apply a fixed price regardless of the prices set for the adult, a percentage discount on the price that the adult would have paid or a fixed discount always compared to the price per adult.

Flexibility and granularity

The type of flexibility and granularity that the management software must make available in order to set prices precisely and as desired by the hotelier.

Fundamental is the ability to set different discounts based on the number of children in a booking.
In addition, the management must give the opportunity to offer different discounts depending on the booked treatment: that is, to be able to set a percentage discount for the half board treatment sold in the double room and a fixed discount for the overnight stay treatment sold in the double room.

Flexibility that must not only be on the management PMS side but also on the booking engine, channel manager and CRM side.

In fact, the booking engine must also allow the potential customer to receive a cost estimate according to his needs, modulating the offer as defined a priori in the PMS.

How to communicate with guests: pre-stay and post-stay emails

How to communicate with guests: pre-stay and post-stay emails

How can pre-stay and post-stay emails improve customer communication? What are the contents that help to “convert” even after booking?

In this blogpost we will talk about the importance of establishing an effective communication system with the customer that starts from pre-stay emails and ends with post-stay emails after guest check-out.

It’s important define what is meant by the term customer journey, or the “journey” that the customer makes from the moment he books a stay in an accommodation facility until the moment he returns home.

It is good to say that pre-stay emails are usually sent to customers within the period of time between the moment the customer makes the reservation and the day before check-in (it also helps you avoid no shows) .

The post-stay emails, however, are sent after the customer has checked out, thanking the customer for choosing their facility and inviting them to leave a review or feedback.

It all started from the customer journey

To establish effective communication with the customer, it is necessary to understand and analyze carefully the right times to send an email.
As already mentioned, a guest’s customer journey begins when they have booked their stay, so a first email can contain useful information such as the location of the hotel, how to get there by public transport or the calendar of events in the city .

We believe that a second pre-stay email can be sent a few days before, also to offer additional services (cross selling) and “tease” the customer on certain extras already before his arrival at the hotel.

What are the advantages of pre-stay and post-stay emails?

What can be the advantages that a hotelier derives from this type of email?
In fact, besides improving the guest experience, there are several advantages that bring such as:

  • Improve the experience right away by providing useful information to plan your trip;
  • Allow the structure to increase its revenue by offering cross sell services;
  • Loyalty to customers, perhaps by offering discount codes for reservations outside in the check-out email.

With a view to automating processes in the structure, whether you are managing a small structure or a large hotel, it is not possible to manually manage the pre and post stay communication, as it takes a long time and can be subject to errors.

What are the 4 cornerstones of hotel disintermediation

the 4 cornerstones of hotel disintermediation

Disintermediate, disintermediate, disintermediate!
In the hotel management sector, there is a lot of talk about it, but in practice how do you manage to create a strategy to obtain more direct bookings for your hotel?

1.The Channel Manager as the first disintermediation tool

It may seem like a contradiction but being able to define how many rooms can be offered for sale in each portal, through a channel manager, allows you to have greater control over what are openings and closings based on the period of the year.

This is because being able to define how many accommodations I will put up for sale in the period of August on each OTA portal, allows me to have more control over the management of my structure. Cleverly balancing the number of direct bookings with intermediate bookings allows you to avoid the phenomenon of the “inverted pyramid“.

There is an inverted pyramid when at the base of my “book of reservations” there are not the direct ones but the intermediate ones. Commissioned reservations cannot be the hard core of our business, so we must use the Channel Manager wisely to maintain the right balance.

2. The Booking Engine, the ram’s head in our sales strategy

For many listeners, the booking engine theme is a topic already heard and well known, however we would like to say that in this case repetita iuvant.
A booking engine with a professional, responsive and simple to use interface is a determining factor in increasing the conversion rate, this provides the customer with a booking system from which it is possible to book accommodation in a few clicks.

Remember that a booking engine to effectively disintermediate must be intuitive, responsive for each device but above all reassuring (and safe) as regards the transmission of personal data and the credit card of the booker!

3. Modern website

The questions to ask on your site are:

1.Is my site responsive? Have I personally tried it from different devices?
2. Do you have clear and clear call to actions?
3. Do you respect security standards (https)?
4.Is it GDPR compliant?
5.Do I have updated and still active promotions?

If you have respected at least 4 of the 5 points above, then you are on the right track!

4. Email Marketing integrated into CRM

The way to disintermediate also passes through the definition of email marketing campaigns … but with an eye always open on the regulations introduced by the GDPR.

An all-in-one software tool allows you to create targeted email campaigns that capture data and therefore contacts directly in the hotel CRM. Email campaigns are created by identifying and segmenting customers based on information that guests have provided during their stay in the structure.
We also keep the second eye open for the analysis of performance and conversions after sending the campaigns, taking into account important aspects such as:

  • open rate
  • messages ended up in spam
  • unsubscribe

Specifically, we will explain how an all-in-one management system, which integrates CRM and email marketing tools, can allow you to automate different aspects:

  • If I send a newsletter to a customer and this unsubscribe, the CRM will update automatically, thus keeping the database clean and in accordance with the law;
  • If a user at the time of booking through the booking engine, select the checkbox to receive promotional emails, the CRM will automatically update with the subscription date.

Why an hotel cannot work without Hotel Software

Hotel Management Software

Does a hotelier really need management software to manage his hotel or can a spreadsheet suffice?

As devil’s lawyers we will try to understand what are the advantages of using an excel file to manage a hotel.

After a general overview of the evolution of management software, we will try to understand how to manage some fundamental aspects such as:

  • Booking calendar
  • Management of bookings for individuals and groups
  • Portal housed
  • Reports
  • Rates and prices
  • Booking conditions.

The list above is a rough idea of ​​some of the tasks that are carried out in the structure and which, it appears evident, cannot be managed with the help of the excel sheet only, but only through a management software that allows greater control. on its structure in some aspects that are capillary to say the least.

In addition, a modern hotel management software allows you to be accessible via smartphone and therefore to be able to control your structure from any device and from any part of the world in which you are located, an internet connection will be sufficient to understand what is happening in your hotel .

What are the features of a Hotel Software?

The hotel management software is the main software tool used by hoteliers and receptionists, this must observe to perform various operations such as:

  • Describe and manage reservations through planning
  • check in / check out
  • manage tariffs and prices
  • check the cleanliness of the accommodation
  • analyze through the sales progress report.

Why choose an all in one software?

Why is it important to convince your boss to have an all in one software solution?

First of all because it simplifies what operational management is:

  • you interface with a single training company;
  • there is only one invoice;
  • you go to withdraw only a contract if you are not satisfied with the solution (you never know!)

When you do not choose an all-in-one software management system and then adopt more software tools and try to make them communicate with each other, there are many problems and obstacles.

Connecting two platforms (such as a Management and a Channel Manager or a Booking Engine) provides for the definition of a connection agreement (mapping) that cannot always be done smoothly, i.e. the connection between a platform A and a platform B not necessarily all the elements between application A and application B are connected.

Connecting different and separate systems is never easy and scenarios can occur in which you run into data loss or inconsistent data situations, when this kind of problem occurs finding the edge of the skein is never easy, requires different manual work and a long time!

Last but not least, the synchronization times between platform A and a platform B are never zero, therefore during the synchronization time spans between the two platforms there may be additional data that is lost.

For all the above reasons it is evident how choosing a software that is all in one helps to reduce / eliminate these types of errors.

How to create the rates for your hotel

What is the difference between rate and price in hotel management? What are the strategies to define and apply rates and prices quickly and automatically?

In this blogpost we will talk about a topic that too often leaves some doubts, Edoardo and Marco will reflect together on what are the strategies of how to create rates and prices for your hotel.

As told in an article from our blog some time ago, we will try to understand what the best strategies can be to set prices in the “right” way.

First of all, we define the price as the economic amount for which a certain accommodation is sold, while a rate is the composition of a name, booking conditions and basic treatment.
A classic example of a rate can be a basic rate such as “Refundable overnight only“, where only overnight accommodation is offered and as a booking condition free cancellation is offered if made within 7 days of the arrival date.

The importance of using derived rates

When it comes to tariffs, we cannot fail to explore the concept of derived tariffs.

The definition of a tariff always starts from a mother tariff. In our case, a mother rate can be the “Room only” rate that we sell at the price of € 100 per night. From this mother rate we can create a derived rate that inherits the same restrictions as the base rate, but which perhaps offers a different treatment or “Bed and Breakfast” and to which we apply a percentage supplement of 10%.
If desired, we can also create the “Half board” derivative rate to which we apply a fixed supplement of € 35 per guest.

The great simplification lies in the fact that if you wanted to change the mother-only RATE and bring it from € 100 to € 120 (per night), the other derived rates would automatically update without the need to touch anything manually.

To learn more and deepen the topic, we refer you to reading the article dedicated to the derived rates.

The price is right? Beware of belly choices!

When setting the classic seasonal price lists, we tend to make choices that can be impulsive, without taking into account a cost analysis.
The application of a discount in the high season, the raising of a revenue index, may have given the illusion of earning more, when in reality it was not so.

Precisely for this reason it is important to use a software tool that is “all in one”, that is, able to offer you visibility on the data and the ability to synchronize all the actions that are carried out in the hotel by the various staff members, so that you can analyze all the end of the season. the choices made through an in-depth revenue analysis.

Revenue strategies: automatic management of composite housing

Gestione alloggi compositi

How to sell an apartment and the individual rooms that compose it both on its website and on the OTA portals

We have often talked to owners of non-hotel accommodation businesses who find themselves wanting to sell apartments or the individual rooms that make up these apartments or villas. This need is much more common than we think, however it is not trivial to manage reservations for these “composite solutions” in a computerized way if the right tools are not used.

Let’s start with a practical example: the villa on the sea …

Our friend Mario is the owner of several holiday homes, including a beautiful villa with sea view consisting of 4 bedrooms (each with private bathroom).

Mario wishes to offer for sale on his booking engine and online sales channels (OTA):

  • the entire Villa Marebello
  • the 4 single rooms that make up the Villa Marebello.

The priority requirement is that if even one of the rooms in the villa is rented for a given date, consequently for those dates it must no longer be possible to book the entire villa.

An accommodation that therefore has the characteristic of being able to be sold both entirely and separately in the individual units that compose it, we will call it “composite accommodation“.

What Mr. Mario expects is that when the apartment is sold as a “whole solution” this must be sold with:

  • a name
  • a description
  • a price
  • a capacity

The same applies to the sale of the individual rooms that compose it, therefore it must be possible to specify the name, description, price and capacity for “each room” that makes up the apartment so that they can also be sold independently.

How to sell an entire apartment and individual rooms simultaneously on different OTA portals

Our friend Mario sells his accommodation on multiple OTA portals including Booking and Homeaway.
To increase reservations, he decides to adopt the following sales strategy:

  • On the Homeaway portal (dedicated to holiday homes) it offers the entire Villa Marebello apartment for sale.

At the same time

  • On the Booking portal, the 4 accommodations are sold individually (Air, Fire, Air, Earth)

The aim is to offer the customer a range of different solutions, from the sale of the entire villa or from the individual rooms that compose it.

In this regard, it is extremely important to have a software that is able to manage the openings and closings of these composite lodgings since the probability of wrong opening and closing increases as the complexity of the composition of the accommodation increases.

If, for example, a room that makes up the villa is sold for a certain day, then the system will automatically have to close the possibility of selling the entire apartment for that date.

Therefore it is necessary to have a management system that has integrated the channel manager and the booking engine to manage the closure of the rooms and the apartment completely automatically based on the reservations that come from the different channels.

In the image above you can see the example configuration of Mr. Mario, a reservation of the villa automatically closes all the rooms that compose it, while a reservation of a single room closes the villa but leaves open the possibility of reserving the rooms still free.

Manage accommodation and apartments from a single platform with Slope

The need to have a management software that can handle this kind of case is even more important if you choose to sell and distribute on multiple sales channels.

With a software such as Slope it is possible to sell and synchronize the villa on a specific portal for renting villas or apartments and at the same time the individual rooms on a portal more suitable for the sale of accommodation, all this through the channel manager integrated into the platform.

In addition to the sale of accommodation on OTAs, it will be possible to put all solutions on sale on its website through the Slope booking engine.

So from a single platform you can manage even more delicate aspects such as composite lodgings with absolute simplicity, reducing the number of manual operations and at the same time increasing your profits by offering more solutions to the end customer

How to create quotes for hotel stays that convert

Strumenti di email marketing hotel albergo per inviare preventivi (quotes)

How many quotes does a receptionist create every day?

Our receptionist friends find themselves having to formulate and send estimates at certain times of the year, even dozens of times a day, taking into account many factors and always different needs expressed by the customer.

How many quotes really turn into reservations? Is there a tool that can help track it?

In the fourth installment of the Hospitality 4.0 podcast we will talk about how to create hotel travel quotes that respect the principles behind the automation of work processes in hotels.

1. How to create hotel quotes that convert

In the episode Edoardo and Marco will discuss what are the strategies for creating hotel travel quotes that convert, however, starting from the mistakes that are usually made when preparing and sending a quote.
When the receptionist prepares an offer email, he must be aware that behind every request to which he answers there is a probable customer, a traveler who is willing to stay at the structure but must be put in the condition to understand if our hotel is what he does for him and his needs.

The horrors to never be made when sending an email to a potential customer are:

  • attach non-professional photos;
  • referencing unclear or wrong prices (for example compared to the offers found on the site);
  • very long and redundant texts;
  • text characters formatted inconsistently (for example: pieces of text in Times New Roman 12 that alternates with Calibri 14 etc …)

2. Creation speed + simple interface = more conversions

For many receptionists, creating a quote is a redundant mechanism in which blocks of text are copied, simply by correcting the reference period and the price to be offered to the customer.

The advice is to use software tools that allow you with few clicks to:

  • Enter the dates indicated by the customer (avoiding quotes already in “overbooking“);
  • Automatically provide availability, quotation, text, images and preview of the rooms in which the customer will stay;
  • Send the quote;
  • Monitor open rates or any bounces;
  • Send follow up to the customer if he has not replied after 2 days.

3. The four aspects of a quote that converts

In summary, what are the aspects to consider?
Marco and Edoardo during the episode will highlight 4 and are:

1.Creation speed;
2. Attractive design;
3. Data reports such as open rates;
4.Live chat.

4. A follow-up will save you!

Last but not least, it is follow-up.

The follow-up is a reminder of an action previously carried out, therefore in the hotel case the potential customer is contacted after the quote sent.
This practice is particularly important because it helps to keep the customer “hooked” as long as possible (within the limits of the GDPR of course).
Many e-commerce and travel agencies send follow-up emails after a customer has not completed the purchase, showing that they “care about the customer”.

Do you do the same thing in reception?
How many of the hotels that are your “competitors” send a follow up after sending a quote?

But above all, how many follow-ups have you done in the last week to a customer who asked you for a quote?

If the answer is few, then it’s time to change!

Channel Manager for Hotels? I need one?

Lo strumento Channel Manager permette di gestire i canali OTA ed il rispettivo extranet

Because a hotel cannot do without management software

Does a hotelier really need management software, such as a channel manager, to manage his hotel or can a spreadsheet suffice?
As devil’s lawyers we will try to understand what are the advantages of using an excel file to manage a hotel.

After a general overview of the evolution of management software, we will try to understand how to manage some fundamental aspects such as:

  • Booking calendar
  • Management of bookings for individuals and groups
  • Portal housed
  • Istat
  • City tax
  • Tax document issuance (including electronic invoicing)
  • reports
  • lists
  • Booking conditions.

The list above is a rough idea of ​​some of the tasks that are carried out in the structure and which, it appears evident, cannot be managed with the help of the excel sheet only, but only through a management software that allows greater control. on its structure in some aspects that are capillary to say the least.

In addition, a modern management software allows you to be accessible via smartphone and therefore to be able to control your structure from any device and from any part of the world in which you are located, an internet connection will be sufficient to understand what is happening in your hotel .

What is a hotel channel manager?

What are the advantages of having a channel manager?

The channel manager is an indispensable tool for any small or large accommodation facility that sells rooms or apartments through online agencies (OTA). The channel manager has the task of synchronizing: prices, availability and reservations on all online sales and distribution portals.

The main purpose of the channel manager is to make the hotelier forget the manual operations of synchronization and updating of rates and availability on the various OTA portals, sheltering him from the bogeyman par excellence … or overbooking.

The importance of using a CM that works in a “transparent” way, that is to say that operates on the basis of the settings set by the hotelier and that manages openings and closings automatically, should also be underlined.

In the episode we will explain the difference between a 1-way channel manager connection and a 2-way XML connection.

What does it mean that a channel manager works 2-way “automatically”?

1) The hotel receives a booking from an OTA portal, this will be sent to the channel manager who will take care of managing it by sending it to the management software which will show the details of the case such as:

  • name and surname of the booking agent
  • number of nights
  • date of arrival and departure
  • rate booked by the customer
  • accommodation booked by the client
  • any notes that the same customer has entered during the booking process
  • credit card number in case the customer has entered it

2) The hotel inserts a reservation received directly into its management system, as soon as the reservation is automatically entered, the management software must update the channel manager that the number of rooms for sale has decreased by 1 unit. At this point, the channel manager will then update the OTA portals with the reduction of availability.

What are derived rates and why are they important

Tariffe Derivate Slope Software Gestionale Hotel

The importance of creating an easy-to-manage hotel tariff model

The management of derived rates has a certain importance in defining the rate model of a hotel.

In this article we will explain why it is important to define a tariff plan that is simple to manage but at the same time also convenient in terms of revenue.

The tariff derivation is a fundamental functionality for a hotel management software, because it allows the hotelier to simplify the definition of prices.

Before explaining what a derived tariff consists of, let’s try to define what we mean by the terms “tariff” and “price“.

Difference between tariff and price

The price is the amount for which a room is offered for sale for a given combination of guests, date and treatment.

The rate, on the other hand, defines the booking conditions for a particular accommodation and the relative treatment.

Example of definition of a tariff model that exclusively uses the tariff derivation

Let’s start with a practical example of a tariff definition, taking into consideration a hotel that offers the “Room Only” and “Bed and Breakfast” treatment.

Our example hotel is made up of 2 TYPES of accommodation: double and suites.

We suggest our hypothetical hotel manager to create 5 rates:

  • Room only;
  • Non-refundable overnight stay (early bird);
  • Bed and Breakfast;
  • Non-refundable Bed and Breakfast (early bird);
  • Bed and Breakfast OTA.

The “non-refundable” rates will be purchasable only with a minimum booking advance; this avoids the sale of a discounted rate but not refundable under the date.

The “overnight only” rate will be the basic rate on which we will define the derivation rules for generating the prices of the other rates.

This allows us to create a tariff model that is derivable with modification rules which can be:

  • Fixed supplement per guest;
  • Fixed discount per guest;
  • Percentage supplement;
  • Percentage discount.

This mode allows you to define the prices for the basic rate only (in our example the “overnight only”) and the system will automatically take care of generating the prices for the other rates.

Because the derived rates simplify hotel management

The derived rates simplify the hotel management because if you decide to change the basic room only rate for the double room, bringing it from € 100 (per night) to € 125 (per night), the system will automatically update the rates set as derived.
So the non-refundable overnight room rate, for which we have set a 10% percentage discount, will update automatically and will cost € 112.50.

Same goes for the Bed and Breakfast derived rate which will automatically go up to € 137.

The great strength of having derived rates is that it will avoid going to manually change prices every time we carry out even a small tariff operation. In addition, manual editing is exhausting work and subject to distraction errors.

Inherit restrictions

The PMS of the management software of your facility must offer you the possibility to automatically set the same restrictions in the derived tariff as the basic tariff.

For example, if you want the derivative “Bed and Breakfast non-refundable” rate to have the same restrictions as the base rate, that is, to be sold only on Friday-Saturday-Sunday and to have a minimum stay of two nights, this must be possible.

How to avoid creating confusion with rounding prices

It may happen that going to set prices with discounts or percentage supplements, prices are generated that are not rounded to the euro, but with rather strange decimals that can cause confusion in the customer.
For a question of image and communication, it is important to ensure that the management software is able to round the price down to the euro. The rounding operation must take place automatically for all the derived tariffs.

Tariff derivation as a strategy at the basis of sales policies on OTA portals or agencies

With the abolition of the parity rate, many hoteliers have started offering different rates on the official website compared to those on the OTA channels, perhaps by applying a 10% surcharge on the latter.

Also in this case it is evident how the application of a derived tariff helps to simplify the management and sale process in the OTA channels.

What do we mean?


The rooms of my hotel are on sale on three different OTA channels, where I decide to apply different prices.
Thanks to a derived rate, it will be sufficient to take a basic rate from which to start (in this case the Bed and Breakfast) and go to apply fixed supplements per guest or percentage increases.

If in reading the article there were doubts about how to set rates and prices for your hotel, we refer you to reading this post.

Slope allows you to define the setting of the derived rates in an absolutely flexible way, thanks to an intuitive interface that provides the hotelier with the most appropriate tools to create a hotel tariff model that is easy to manage and absolutely modular.

Request a trial demo of Slope, hotel management software now.

Pre-stay and post-stay emails: customer journey strategies for hotel customers

The “customer journey” is that journey that the customer takes from the moment he books a stay in an accommodation facility until the moment he returns home.

In this process consisting of several phases, it is important to make sure that the customer is followed in every step.

Following the customer means offering him the “right” information at the “right” moment.

Some practical examples that explain what we mean by “right information” can be: curiosity about the area, information on how to reach the structure or the possibility of purchasing additional services in order to personalize your stay.

The main steps that make up the customer journey are:

  1. Registration of the reservation at your facility;
  2. Receipt of the pre-stay information email;
  3. Receipt of the second pre-stay information email; (not always);
  4. Upsell or Cross Sell offer (not always);
  5. Arrival at the facility;
  6. Stay at the facility;
  7. Checkout;
  8. Receiving the post stay email;

As you can see from the list above, the steps are not few and it is important to immediately define a specific strategy for each individual hotel, trying to understand which of these steps you want to implement, after which you must make sure that these actions are automated.

Having to send pre-stay or post-stay emails manually to all customers staying in the structure would require an unsustainable amount of work, and for this reason we want to explain how important it is to have a hotel management software that is able to take care of these tasks.

What are pre stay emails and what are they for

The pre-stay emails are sent to the customer within the time span between the time the customer makes the reservation and the day before check-in.

The e-mails are used to communicate various details to the customer such as: the possibility of checking in online, notifying the opening hours of the reception, breakfast or parking.

The customer loyalty experience begins immediately after booking, when the first confirmation email is sent; this email details the reservation and a summary of the information relating to the stay.

The booking confirmation email is not considered a pre-stay email, but a simple courtesy email that falls within the booking step.

Subsequently, another email (the pre-stay email) can be sent containing useful information:

  • how to get from the station to the structure;
  • what are the car parks affiliated with the structure;
  • how to pre-order your ski pass;
  • calendar of events in the city during the month.

The aim is to establish a relationship of trust and to start on the right foot, trying to prevent some recurring questions that often create doubts and fears in the customer even before the stay (in some cases they also help prevent no shows).

Upsell with pre-stay emails

Pre-stay emails are fully part of the hotel’s communication strategy and can help increase earnings by offering a upsell of a room a certain number of days before arrival.

The upsell consists in offering the customer a room of a higher level than the one they purchased for an economic supplement.

Upselling can prove useful for two reasons:

  • “Lower” rooms are released, thus increasing the possibility of obtaining new reservations since the “lower” rooms are on average easier to sell;
  • It goes to earn on the cost of a “superior” room that otherwise would probably have remained unsold.

Not all accommodations have accommodations that differ in type, for this reason in some cases it is not possible to offer an upsell: in this case you can resort to the cross sell of extra services (such as entrances to parks, museums, ski passes etc …).

What are post stay emails and what they are for

At the end of the stay, post-stay emails also play an important role.
At the time of check-out you can go to send an email to your guests to thank them for choosing their facility and invite them to leave a review on various portals such as TripAdvisor and Facebook.

If you want, you can also decide to offer a promotional code or a discount voucher to be used for the next stay at your facility; a fundamental precaution if you want to create that loyalty relationship that is a key element in the strategy of disintermediation.

What are the advantages of an excellent customer journey?

As already mentioned, the pre-stay and post-stay emails serve to improve the guest experience and there are several advantages that directly and indirectly bring with them such as:

  • Retain customers;
  • Improve the experience right away by providing useful information to plan your trip;
  • Allow the structure to increase its turnover by offering up sell and cross sell services.

How to automate pre stay and post stay emails with Slope

It is often mistakenly thought that to manage pre-stay and post-stay communication it takes a long time and there is no real benefit for your structure.

In order to create a strategy that does not require manual work, it is necessary that the sending of this type of email is done directly by the hotel management software.

Being Slope’s PMS being an all-in-one software solution, this process can also be automated. It is possible to define rules for sending pre-stay and post-stay emails, by setting completely customizable messages directly from the management system!

What are iCal? Here’s how to use them for your hotel

iCal Slope Airbnb Homeaway

What is an iCalendar?

In general terms, an iCalendar (known to all as iCal) is a file format for computers, usually with the extension .ics (but we can also find it with different extensions, such as .ical / .ifb / .icalendar) capable of representing information aggregated on a time basis, in our case in a calendar.

This tool is widely used in the hotel industry because it allows you to report information on the availability of a type of accommodation for a specific period of time in a streamlined and easily accessible calendar.

The information that can be saved within an iCal file is limited, in this article we will explain what information is useful for managing the availability of rooms and apartments that can be conveyed via an iCal.

Synchronize online sales portals (OTA) via iCal

In some cases the iCal can be used as a worthy replacement to synchronize your PMS with an online distribution portal, agency or tour operator.

Obviously the ideal solution to synchronize availability, rates, prices and reservations between your management and the sales channel involves the use of a channel manager with 2-way connection, however, in the event that the portal does not offer a Channel interface 2-way manager you can use iCal to synchronize availability.

How does iCal work?

As mentioned above, this solution has limitations, for example iCal allow you to save only the availability of accommodation on a specific portal.

Through iCalendar it is not possible to keep track of how many units of a specific accommodation are available for a given day, but it is able to save information on its availability status (available or unavailable).

Let’s take an example:
In my structure I have a type of accommodation called Double room with 3 units available. By inserting my calendar in a portal, the same portal will only receive information about the availability or not of the accommodation (not of the units specifically).

If, for a certain day, I have 3 free of my 3 double bedrooms> the iCal will indicate that there is availability.
If, for a certain day, I have 2 of my 3 double bedrooms free> the iCal will indicate that there is availability.
If, for a certain day, I have 1 of my 3 double bedrooms free> the iCal will indicate that there is availability.
If, for a certain day, I have 0 free of my 3 double bedrooms> the iCal will indicate that there is no availability.

The communication is therefore only one-way (1-way): therefore it is possible to update the availability from my PMS to the portal where I have inserted the iCalendar but I cannot make the portal update the calendar when a booking is received.

What are the practical cases in which it may be convenient to use an iCal?

It may be convenient to use it if you want to synchronize “secondary” portals, ie portals that generate below 5% of annual reservations and on which you do not intend to invest for a two-way connection.

It can also be useful in the case of agencies that do not have an OTA portal, but who intend to know the availability of the structure, in case they want to send a group.

Which are the main portals on which I can synchronize openings and closings via iCal?

The most popular portals that can be updated via iCal are the Airbnb and Homeaway giants, in fact it is possible to use the iCal to automatically update openings and closings on both portals.

Not only iCal Airbnb or iCal Homeaway, but also other portals such as FlipKey, Ownsdirect, FeWo-direkt or 9Flats can be updated through this technology.

How can I import it into the OTA portals?

ICal can be imported into various portals in 2 different ways:

Import via file

An iCal file can be generated and imported from time to time into the portal you wish to update.

This approach is absolutely not recommended, as the file does not have the ability to auto-update itself: it should be imported every time the availability in our accommodation changes, so it is clear that importing by file is highly discouraged because it is not very expandable.

✔️ Import via URL

Some hotel management software offer the possibility of accessing a public address (url) where an iCal is loaded and updated every few minutes.

By entering the URL of the iCal in any portal, the portal can make a request to that address whenever you wish to be updated on the occupancy status of the accommodation. This is a decidedly advantageous automatic process because it does not require manual operations.

It is good to remember how the time frame that iCal takes for self-updating depends on two factors:

  1. from the portal on which it is loaded (how often the portal checks the URL to see if an updated version of the iCal is available);
    2. from the PMS update frequency (how often the management generates the calendar).

To import the iCalendars on the various portals, simply follow the procedures indicated by the same portals about, in fact, the import of calendars.
For example, here is the procedure to be performed on Airbnb or HomeAway:

ICal HomeAway upload guide;
ICal Airbnb upload guide.

Where can I find the iCal of my accommodations?

The most advanced PMS offer accommodation facilities links to the iCal calendars of each accommodation in the management system.

The Slope management software, in addition to connectivity via 2-way channel manager, offers its customers the possibility of generating iCal URLs that can be used at the hotelier’s complete discretion.

For more information on the iCal format or the Slope software, do not hesitate to contact us.

5 tips to convince your boss to buy Slope, management software cloud and all in one

5 consigli per convincere il tuo boss ad acquistare Slope, software gestionale per hotel cloud e tutto in uno

Tip 1 – Save money by purchasing cloud software

And so you finally found Slope, the all-in-one hotel management software that will help you and your colleagues in the hotel simplify your work and increase sales.

Now the fateful moment has come when you have to convince your boss and answer the question: “Why Slope?”

Here are 5 things to convince your manager and he absolutely needs to know about Slope management software.

Cloud software is absolutely cheaper than software installed on hotel-owned servers (on premise), this is because there are no dedicated server purchase costs and there are no maintenance costs.

Often one thinks erroneously:

How much do you want it to cost to maintain a small server on site?

Well the things to put in the budget are:

  • purchase of hardware;
  • energy supply with emergency battery;
  • fast internet connectivity with backup;
  • ordinary and extraordinary technical interventions in case of crashes, viruses or hardware breakages;
  • backup and security of data;

This is only a small list of examples of some of the main expenses that the hotelier has to bear, who chooses to have software installed on a directly managed server machine.

The hotelier’s job should not consist in having to deal with the management of his own software infrastructure, every minute spent thinking about infrastructure problems is a minute taken away from the “core” activity … and this too has a significant cost. take into consideration, but which is difficult to estimate a priori.

In addition to the “direct” economic aspect of managing software on a local machine, there is a cost component linked to the risk of:

  • power surges;
  • virus;
  • theft;
  • breaking hard disk.

As an alternative to “on premise” software, installed on local machines, there are “cloud” software, that is, applications that are served by powerful server machines managed by the company that provides the service.

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is that there is no risk of losing data due to a virus or hardware failure, thanks to redundancy and backup mechanisms that are designed on a large scale by specialized companies.

With the cloud, data backup is guaranteed by those who provide the service and offers considerable security that will prevent you from losing the customer history of the last few years.
The GDPR issue is also particularly delicate, where if with the cloud the responsibility for protection lies with the service provider, in the case of the on premise, the local server must have an updated operating system with an operating technician who certifies the updates . Finally, the internet connection must take place through updated firewalls.

Another significant advantage is that the cloud does not have installation times and costs: no technician who comes to install the server in the structure, who makes you wait weeks for the configuration and to whom you have to pay room and board and setup costs.
With the cloud, just one click is enough to start using the service.

Software like Slope can be purchased and activated in minutes, not days!

Tip 2 – Easy software also allows seasonal operators to be immediately productive

The cloud, besides being cheaper, helps to maximize productivity, offering an easy and intuitive solution for all those working at the front desk.

In hotels it often happens that the staff is not permanent all year round, there are periods of high season in which there is a greater need for help and different figures (for example trainees), for this reason the management software must not be a brake in the choice of a receptionist or a hybrid figure who will take care of both the front desk but also other tasks.

For this reason, there is a need to adopt software solutions with which an operator can become familiar in no time, without the need to purchase packages or training courses.
The software must be practical and intuitive, sending a quote, issuing an invoice or checking in must be operations that can be performed in a few clicks.

Tip 3 – Speed ​​up the work of your fellow receptionists

Classic scene.

The customer Mario Rossi sends an email asking for a quote for 2 adults plus a child from 1 to 6 May.

The receptionist goes to:

  1. Check availability for that period;
  2. Calculate the fee based on the rate for the period;
  3. Open the mailbox;
  4. Copy the template he saved to a doc file and which is usually formatted in Arial 14, Calibri 12 and Times New Roman 16;
  5. Enter the data and prices that the customer requested;
  6. Re-read the email hoping not to copy-paste the name of another customer;
  7. Send the email;
  8. Wait for the customer’s response, who in the meantime will have requested another 5-6 quotes.
  9. Send 10 more quotes, without taking into account the opening / conversion rates.

Total number of operations: 9. Time spent: at least 5 minutes.

What if these 9 processes could be simplified into 4 simpler and more congenial actions?

For example, the receptionist directly from the management Slope:

  1. Enter the dates indicated by the customer;
  2. Slope automatically provides availability, quotation, text, images and preview of the rooms in which the customer will stay;
  3. Click on send;
  4. Send the follow up to the customer if he has not responded after 2 days.

Total number of operations: 4. Time taken: less than 2 minutes.

In addition, sending quotes with a more refined and attractive look is not only a question of aesthetics, but a question of revenue !!!

Quotes with cured texts and photos are much better than emails written in Arial 12 with a dark red color, in which the amount of the stay is sometimes wrong.

Tip 4 – Get all in one software

Why is it important to convince your boss to have an all in one software solution?
First of all because it simplifies what operational management is:

  • you interface with a single training company;
  • there is only one invoice;
  • you go to withdraw only a contract if you are not satisfied with the solution (you never know!)

When you do not choose an all-in-one software management system and then adopt more software tools and try to make them communicate with each other, there are many problems and obstacles.

Connecting two platforms (such as a Management and a Channel Manager or a Booking Engine) provides for the definition of a connection agreement (mapping) that cannot always be done smoothly, i.e. the connection between a platform A and a platform B not necessarily all the elements between application A and application B are connected.

Connecting different and separate systems is never easy and scenarios can occur in which you run into data loss or inconsistent data situations, when this kind of problem occurs finding the edge of the skein is never easy, requires different manual work and a long time!

Last but not least, the synchronization times between platform A and a platform B are never zero, therefore during the synchronization time spans between the two platforms there may be additional data that is lost.

For all the above reasons it is evident how choosing a software that is all in one helps to reduce / eliminate these types of errors.

Tip 5 – Your boss will have full control from any position and from any device.

Okay, most likely this will be your boss’ favorite point.

A 100% cloud management solution such as Slope allows you to control your structure from any fixed or mobile device and from any part of the world where you are, just an internet connection is enough to understand what is happening in your hotel.
Furthermore, full access to your data allows you to make strategic decisions based on constantly updated information and statistics.

Try the demo of the Slope management software

We can’t wait to see you use Slope, we have already started the countdown ⌚.
The demo is free and it is the first step to revolutionize the way you work.

What are you waiting for? Try it now for 30 days