In trends

Every so often we come across an innovation that, whilst not directly relating to our work, would benefit all of our DMO clients and Gift Cards are a prime example. 

With Christmas just around the corner, the gift card model is particularly pertinent. At one stage or another I’m sure we’ve all bought someone a gift card or voucher for high street stores like John Lewis and Debenhams, or maybe even online stores like Apple’s iTunes or Amazon. But now there is a gift solution for a whole geographical location, rather than an individual store. 

Cheltenham BID is one of the first organisations to take advantage of the opportunity for its town centre. So, if you know anyone who is planning a trip to Cheltenham next year, you can already buy them a gift card to spend on their trip.

The gift card platform enables a destination to establish a consumer gift card programme, and operates using pre-paid VISA technology. So, no need for additional card readers or hardware as is sometimes the case  with loyalty or discount card schemes.

The card provides a simple way for people to buy a gift for friends, family and colleagues. The recipient can then spend their gift at a network of participating businesses within the destination including attractions, leisure, entertainment businesses, restaurants, cafes and shops.

The advantages for a destination are clear - the DMO is selling a product that drives direct spending in the destination, to the provider businesses. 

For the businesses themselves, it doesn’t cost anything to be part of the programme. It will drive a new wave of customers, as people that receive such gift cards tend to explore more and 15% of redemption is by customers visiting a business for the first time.

It also brings additional spend - customers that redeem gift cards spend on average 40% more than the value of the gift card and tend to upgrade their experience, going for higher-margin products - such is the psychology of gifting! And, businesses receive the full value of the money spent via their existing payment channels.

For the consumer, the cards offer choice and flexibility. You don’t have to spend all in one place and you can spend as much as you like in any of the participating businesses over the course of a year. 

Sounds like a win-win situation for both DMO and tourism providers, and what else could you buy for that difficult person in your life?

If you are a destination and you're interested in looking into this more, please let us know and we’ll gladly put you in touch with the guys behind this great initiative. 

Please contact Andy Abram - or speak to your account manager.




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