HotelSwaps, a new innovative hotel staff retention and incentive programme, has launched today at www.hotelswaps.com. HotelSwaps is a worldwide membership network which allows hotel owners and managers to exchange their unused hotel rooms with other hotel members around the world for staff reward, incentive and training purposes. Hotels will deposit room nights during periods of their choice in exchange for points. These points can be transferred to high-performing employees who can in turn exchange these for free hotel stays at other member hotels.
HotelSwaps has been created to make the most of the huge inventory of unused hotel rooms (over 700 million room nights were left unoccupied in the European Union alone in 2009) in order to help hoteliers better reward their staff. Recruitment and employee retention has long been a major issue for hotel owners. It is estimated that the average annual cost of staff turnover in a hotel of 100 employees in the US is over USD 600,000 and 70% of hotel General Managers world-wide believe that Human Resources is the most challenging issue for the industry.
HotelSwaps gives hotel owners an inexpensive, yet high-value, way to reward, incentivise and train staff from across their organisation. The great advantage of the programme is its flexibility, allowing owners to send their management team on training breaks to experience other similar hotels, or to reward key staff for long service with a week’s family holiday.
HotelSwaps has identified four key areas where hoteliers can benefit from the programme:
• Employee retention: an attractive employee incentive plan can prevent staff from searching for alternative employment.
• Employee training: HotelSwaps is a great way to expose key staff to a wide range of hotel properties, styles and offers.
• Revenue opportunities: whilst the deposited rooms may be offered free of charge, hotels will see an increase in food and beverage revenues as well as in leisure services during periods of lower occupancy.
• Quality feedback: a feedback mechanism has been built into the web application, providing participating hotels with confidential feedback of high quality from fellow hoteliers.
Hotels pay an annual membership fee to HotelSwaps, starting at GBP 395 for a hotel with less than 25 rooms and rising to GBP 1,950 for a hotel of over 100 rooms. There is also a reservations fee of GBP 40 per booking charged to the guest regardless of the length of the stay.
Once a member, a hotel can start depositing rooms, in return for points. Points are valued based on the seasonality and quality of the hotel to ensure a fair exchange between hotel members. Deposited rooms are held in an online inventory pool from which hotel employees, who have been rewarded with points, can make their reservations.
“I am thrilled to be launching HotelSwaps at the start of 2013,” comments Preben Vestdam, Managing Director of HotelSwaps, “and I am delighted to be offering a tool to hoteliers which will help them improve the hotel industry as a great place to work. HotelSwaps has been a year in the making to ensure we not only have robust points exchange system but also have the right solution to help hotel managers better look after their staff at a very low cost.”
“Staff retention, as we know, is one of the main challenges of the hotel industry. So much money is lost in recruitment and training of employees who then move on. It is vital that the industry works out how to incentivise and retain staff in an affordable way and I am confident that HotelSwaps is an effective solution to this issue.”
“Not only can HotelSwaps be built into training and incentive programmes, but it also has spin off benefits such as additional revenues, qualitative feedback and sharing of best practices. We look forward to affiliating many quality hotels to the programme and seeing HotelSwaps become a key partner to the hospitality industry for years to come.”
For further information, contact:
About HotelSwaps and Valhalla Associates:
HotelSwaps (http://www.hotelswaps.com) is owned and operated by Valhalla Associates (http://www.valhallaassociates.com), a limited liability company incorporated in United Kingdom and service provider to the hotel and resort industry.
The HotelSwaps System:
Step One – Apply Online: Hotels provide key information about their property, which HotelSwaps will review before approving membership. As a part of the affiliation process, the hotel will deposit 21 room nights (3 weeks) to obtain their first points.
Step Two – Earn Points: Hotels earn additional points by depositing room nights for use by other HotelSwaps members. The points value of room nights is determined by the season and quality of the hotel. Room nights are deposited in weekly intervals from Monday to Monday.
Step Three – Issue Points: Hotel owners and managers can issue HotelSwaps points from their hotel to whomever they like. They can reward their employees, develop staff training programs or even take a well-deserved break themselves.
Step One – Check Availability: Guests, who receives points from a hotel, can book a reservation from any of the available rooms deposited by other hotel members.
Step Two – Book a Stay: Guests make reservations just like they would do with any online travel agent, but Guests use their points as “payment”. In case the desired period is not immediately available, the Guest can log a reservations request straight to their preferred hotel, which in turn has the option to accept or decline the request.
Step Three - Provide Feedback: Guests are requested to provide feedback following their stay, allowing the hotel to receive constructive and confidential advice from fellow hoteliers.