Study: 77% of Consumers Intend to Buy Hotel Gift Cards in 2021  

man holding hotel voucher

The holiday gift-giving season is soon upon us – And consumers are looking for ways they can surprise and delight their family and friends!

Gift cards represent a significant portion of gift-giving, more so than ever before. In fact, online gift card sales grew by 117% during the second half of 2020, due to covid restrictions making it difficult for consumers to buy physical gifts. 

Gift card and voucher sales usually peak during the festive season. Commercial days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are staple peak sales seasons in retail – not to mention Christmas and New years.  

So why wouldn’t this apply to the hospitality sector too?

Providing the opportunity for your guest to buy gift cards can give an additional boost to your hotel sales. 

Ultimately, gift cards can:  

1. Help you manage hotel cashflow 

2. Generate a significant amount of additional revenue online for your hotel.

We’ve seen this first-hand with one of our Nordic Hotel customers that was able to generate €1.5 million in revenue for hotels, in just 24 hours.  



Now that’s impressive! 

So with hotel voucher sales being a potentially untapped market for the hospitality sector, we decided to survey consumers to understand their preferences and attitudes towards hotel gift cards.  


Subscribe to Newsletter >>


Guest preferences towards hotel gift cards in 2021

We surveyed 627 consumers to find out guest preferences, purchasing behavior, and their overall attitudes toward hotel gift vouchers.  


In total, consumers from 44 different countries all around the EMEA answered our survey.  

  • 58% of respondents were from Europe

  • 24% were from the Middle East and Africa

  • 18% were from other regions 


5 key consumer preferences when buying hotel gift cards

Let’s break down our findings to see exactly what consumers think about hotel gift cards and what their preferences are when it comes to buying them.  


1. Awareness around seasonal gift cards & discounts is good

Overall, consumers are aware that hotels provide discounts and promotions during the festive season.  



76% of the consumers we surveyed were actually aware that hotels offer discounted rooms and services for events like Boxing Day, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s. 

However, 24% say they are unaware of these types of promotions.  

These numbers go to show that your guests are looking to bag a deal or two during peak sales seasons, but there’s still some room for educating guests on the possibilities of gift cards.  

Furthermore, hotels not providing discounts or promotions during these days could ultimately lose potential revenue!  

To get industry insight, find out how VALO Hotel & Work uses gift cards and other digital solutions to boost hotel performance.


2. Consumers intend to buy hotel gift cards this year 

Consumers are planning to buy hotel gift cards this year. An overwhelming number of respondents, 77% to be exact, said they would consider buying hotel vouchers for their loved ones.  



This isn’t surprising as 62% of respondents say they’ve previously purchased hotel vouchers as gifts for family and friends.  

It seems that post lockdown, people are even hungrier for experiences! Hotel vouchers provide a great way for guests to gift a thoughtful memorable experience, rather than a physical product. 


3. Christmas is the #1 gift card giving season

The winning season for hotel gift card giving was Christmas. It was by far the most popular event triggering gift card purchases!


Top hotel gift card giving triggers in EMEA: 

1. Christmas
2. Black Friday Sales 
3. Boxing day sales
4. Cyber Monday 
5. New Year’s break


With this insight, it’s worth focusing on promoting your vouchers around the top seasons to really amp up sales.  

And let’s face it – successful promotions are all about timing. Creating engaging gift card campaigns around the gift-giving season can not only entice guests but also give you a competitive advantage.


Watch Live Training:


4. Flexibility is key when purchasing gift cards  

The number one gift card type is open hotel vouchers, with experience vouchers coming in a close second.  



Top 2 types of hotel gift cards: 

1. Open Hotel Vouchers  

2. Experiences  

With this insight, it’s clear that consumers don’t want to be tied down to buying a specific service or product. They would rather give their loved ones the option of choosing what they use their gift card for!  

Offering open-ended vouchers could help you appeal to more guests while enabling you to grow your gift card sales. 


5. Consumers are happy to spend more than €100

Over 59% of respondents are ready to spend between €100 and €200 on gift cards this year. This is excellent news and shows that consumers are willing to splash out on gift cards in 2021.  



What’s even better, 21% be are happy to spend more than €200. Imagine all the additional cash flow that this could bring to your hotel.  

That’s why selecting an effective gift card solution for your hotel is all the more important.


Image source – Hoist group 


Ready to delight your guests with hotel gift cards?

Now that you’re up to date on what your guests really want when it comes to gift cards, why not try Hoist Gift Card Manager – It’s simple to set up and has the potential to bring in more revenue for your hotel.  

Not quite convinced yet? Try our revenue calculator to estimate how much return on investment you could get if you invested in our gift card solution.  

Give it a go and get your gift card promotions up and running before it’s too late! 





Nea Bjorkqvist
Marketing Manager at Hoist Group