Frequently Asked Questions by the hotel

Most popular questions

 In short, what is HotelSwaps?
HotelSwaps is a hotel room exchange programme and reservation system which allows for owners and operators of high-quality hotels to swap their unsold rooms for free stays at other member hotels worldwide. See how it works.
 Why Should I join HotelSwaps?
1. HotelSwaps is designed to create an alternative value from your unsold hotel rooms. Accepting exchange reservations from other HotelSwaps members at your hotel is a way to earn HotelSwaps Points and ancillary revenues during periods of lower occupancy.

2. You will reduce your business or leisure travel expenses by booking complimentary stays at other member hotels, anywhere in the world.

3. You can integrate Points as part of your employee reward program. Points can be issued to anyone of your choice, and sharing Points is a great way to incentivize key executives at little to no cost.

4. You will become part of an exclusive network of like-minded hoteliers. HotelSwaps connects members around the world, giving you the opportunity to make new professional contacts and provide fellow hoteliers with meaningful feedback.

Membership options

 What are the benefits of a Basic membership?
A basic membership allows you to:
• advertise your unsold rooms to other HotelSwaps members
• accept an unlimited number of inbound reservations from other members and earn Points
• reserve or request a room at any participating hotel for you or anyone you wish
• transfer Points to a Swap Manager, person of your choice also in charge of managing your hotel’s account
• receive 500 Points of credit line upon joining which may be used for immediate reservations in advance of receiving your first inbound exchange guests

However, Basic members:
• earn only 80% of their hotel’s Points value on inbound reservations
• can only issue up to 1,000 Points annually from the hotel’s Points balance
 What are the benefits of a Premium membership?
As with the Basic membership, the Premium membership allows you to advertise your empty rooms to other HotelSwaps members and accept an unlimited number of inbound reservations from other members. A Premium membership provides several additional benefits:
• Your hotel will earn the full 100% of its Points value on inbound reservations.
• Your hotel will receive a minimum of 1500 Points credit line upon joining, which may be used for immediate reservations before you receive your first inbound exchange guests.
• There is no annual Points spending limit from your hotel’s Points balance, which will allow for longer reservations and/or stays in higher category hotels.
• You can issue Points to anyone you wish so they can book their own reservations in HotelSwaps.
• You will get access to a personal exchange concierge who will help you maximize your exchange benefits.
• You will have access to HotelSwaps’ Points Supplier Programme allowing you to purchase products and services with your HotelSwaps Points.
 Does my membership renew automatically?
A Basic membership does not require yearly renewal. A Premium membership requires an annual membership renewal and payment of the Premium membership fee. Hotel members who do not renew their Premium memberships on its anniversary will automatically move to a Basic membership, and can hereafter upgrade again to Premium at any time.

The Points System

What are HotelSwaps Points?
Points are the “currency” used to facilitate the exchange of hotel rooms between members. Using a Points system allows for an open trade, meaning that members can use their Points to stay at any member hotel worldwide regardless its inbound reservations.
 What can I use HotelSwaps Points for?
You can use HotelSwaps Points to book free stays at other hotel members, reward your key executives, or purchase products and services from our Points Supplier Programme.
How do I earn HotelSwaps Points?
Your hotel will earn Points by accepting reservations from other HotelSwaps members and accommodating them free of charge at your hotel.
How do you determine the Points value of a hotel stay?
In order to ensure a fair exchange between members, the Points per Room Night reserved through HotelSwaps is determined by the hotel’s quality category and seasonality.

 How does HotelSwaps determine the seasonality of a hotel member?
HotelSwaps determines the seasonality of each hotel member based on various sources of seasonality data related to the hotel’s location. Each hotel in the same location will have the same seasonality. We classify each week of the year as low, middle, or high season. Seasonality, as well as category, determines the Points value per room night traded in HotelSwaps, as shown in the above schedule.
How does HotelSwaps determine the category of a hotel member?
Hotel members are classified in 7 quality categories. A hotel’s category is predominantly determined by its publicly advertised room rates for a double standard room across all seasons of the year. Grouping hotels in value categories allows for like-for-like exchanges between hotel members.
 Do Points Expire?
Points on your hotel’s Points account do not expire as long as your hotel is a member of HotelSwaps. Points issued from your hotel’s Points account to a personal account can be used for reservations for a period of 2 years from the day of the Points issuance - where after they expire. In case a person has received more than one Points issuance, the Points used for new reservations will follow the First-In-First-Out principle.  
Is there a limit to how many Points I can issue from my hotel account?
Premium member hotels do not have a limit to how many Points they can issue to guest accounts. Basic member hotels can only issue 1000 Points per calendar year.
 Who can I share my hotel's Points with?
Hotel Managers and Swap Managers of both Basic and Premium member hotels can make reservations for themselves and on behalf of anyone else. Hotel Managers and Swap Managers of Premium member hotels can in addition transfer Points to anyone else of their choice. The Points recipients can hereafter log in and organize their own HotelSwaps reservations.  

Managing Inventory and Availability

Can I advertise available rooms at my hotel?
Yes. Offering instant booking leads to more reservations. It is highly recommended, but not compulsory, to deposit as many rooms as possible in HotelSwaps. Hotels who choose not to make deposits are available upon request only. Hotels that offer instant booking can be more readily promoted to other members and receive a higher number of inbound reservations (and therefore earn more Points) than hotels that are available only upon request.
 How do I advertise my available rooms? 
Simply log in and add the room nights on our calendar that you would like other members to be able to book instantly. You can always return any un-reserved room nights if your forecasted occupancy changes. The guest will receive immediate confirmation of his/her reservation when booking one of your available rooms. 
 What room-types do I deposit? 
The only room type that can be deposited or reserved on HotelSwaps is a double standard room or your hotel’s equivalent lowest category room type. Upgrades for an additional cost (payable directly to the hotel) may be arranged directly between the traveling guest and the hotel. 
Can I take room nights back after I make deposits? 
Yes. You have full control over your inventory and can make adjustments at any point in time for all rooms that remain unreserved.
 Can I delegate the rights to manage HotelSwaps to one of my staff members?
Yes. A hotel owner or general manager can appoint anyone within their organization as Swap Manager to make deposits, issue Points, update hotel information and supervise all communication related to HotelSwaps. Swap Managers will be issued with their own login credentials to the hotel account.

Even if you do intend to personally manage your HotelSwaps availability and reservations, we highly encourage you to assign a Swap Manager as a backup contact in the event that you cannot be reached. 

Reservations & During The Stay

How am I informed about a reservation or a request?
If you have deposited rooms with HotelSwaps, you will receive an email notifying you when a reservation has been made in one of your advertised available rooms. If you have not deposited rooms during a certain period, but a member would like to make a reservation at your property, you will receive the reservation request by email. You will hereafter have 7 days to accept or decline the request. Upcoming reservations or pending requests are also summarized on your login page.  
 What is your cancellation policy?
For any reservations canceled up to 15 days before check-in, the hotel’s Points account will be debited with the same number of Points credited at the time of the reservation and the cancelled room nights will again be made available for reservation by other HotelSwaps members. If a reservation is canceled within 14 days to check-in, the hotel keeps 100% of the Points.
 How can I earn additional revenues from HotelSwaps reservations? 
The rooms reserved through HotelSwaps is paid for with Points currency, but you can potentially earn additional revenues by offering upgrades, F&B, spa treatments, airport transfers and any other additional service that your hotel provides for a fee.  
 Who pays potential tourism taxes?
The traveling guest pays any mandatory city or tourism taxes at the time of check out.  
 Will I receive feedback from members following their stay?  
Yes. Highly relevant feedback from other hoteliers is an important benefit of your membership. All guests are sent a feedback questionnaire by email within the week following their stay. Feedback is not displayed publicly and can be viewed only by the hotel owner/manager and the Swap Manager.  

 

Points Supplier Programme

 What is the Points Supplier Programme?
The Points Supplier Programme allows Premium member hotels to exchange Points for products and services from industry suppliers who collaborate with HotelSwaps.
 Which suppliers participate in the programme?
You can find the directory of suppliers, along with their products and services priced in Points under the ‘Points Supplier Programme’ tab on HotelSwaps’ homepage.
 How are barter agreements organised?
The barter agreement is done directly between the Hotel Member and the supplier in a similar way as if you purchase the product or service with a traditional cash payment. We recommend that the barter agreement includes at minimum: 1. a description of the product or service provided; 2. the cash equivalent value of the transaction; and 3. the number of Points to be paid. The hotel is responsible for issuing Points to the supplier as payment prior to the delivery of the product of service, and transactions are non-refundable.
 What is HotelSwaps’ involvement in the barter agreement?
HotelSwaps is not a party to the barter agreement between a Hotel Member and a supplier introduced through the Points Supplier Programme. HotelSwaps acts only as a mechanism for issuing the Points to the supplier whenever a Hotel Member instructs us to do so.  
 How do I account for a barter trade? 
Accounting practices will depend on the local jurisdiction of your hotel and HotelSwaps can therefore not advise you specifically on this subject. In most jurisdictions, barter transactions need to be accounted for as two separate transactions: 1. a purchase transaction of the product or service with a cost book entry; and 2. a sale of your Points with a revenue book entry. As it is a barter trade, the two book entries should have the same transaction value. The specific value shall be agreed between you and the supplier in the barter agreement and will typically be the fair market value of the product or service that you have received for your Points payment. 
 Should I declare VAT on a barter trade? 
VAT accounting practices will depend on the local jurisdiction of your hotel and HotelSwaps can therefore not advise you specifically on this subject. In most jurisdictions, if you are registered for VAT, you must charge VAT on the accounted value of your barter trade in a similar way as if you have sold you Points for cash and the supplier will do the same.
 Can I barter with suppliers outside the Points Supplier Programme?
Of course you can. The Preferred Supplier Programme is meant to facilitate your access to products and services that can be bartered for using HotelSwaps Points. You are free to use the HotelSwaps Points to barter with whomever you deem relevant for your own business operation.

 

Membership application

 Who can apply for membership?
Any owner or general manager of a licensed hotel may apply for membership.
Should I apply for a Basic or Premium membership?
At the time of application, you will be asked to choose between a Basic and Premium membership. See our Membership Options section to help you decide which option better suits your needs.
 How does HotelSwaps assess my membership application? 
We strive to maintain a network of like-minded hoteliers around the world who can benefit from each other’s unused hotel rooms. Therefore, we project the expected demand from our existing members for a property prior to accepting or declining its application. In order to determine if a new property would contribute to the current portfolio, we study the hotel’s pricing, facilities, overall quality and location.
Do you have a minimum quality criteria?
To maintain a minimum level of quality of hotel members, hotels with published rates of less than US$100 for a double standard room will often not be accepted for membership.
 What happens if my application is accepted?  
You will receive an email confirmation that contains all details about your membership and a secured login link to access your new HotelSwaps account. A Member Services executive from our team will be in touch to guide you through the next steps.

 

Other questions

 Are there any employee benefit taxes to pay?
Employee benefit taxes will depend on the local jurisdiction of your hotel and HotelSwaps can therefore not advise you specifically on this subject. In many countries, such taxes will depend on the purpose of travel - whether it is for business/training purposes or for a personal benefit. It should also be considered that Points in most jurisdictions do not have a value before they are used.
Who ensures that the information of my hotel property is correct on the website?
You are responsible for keeping the hotel information up to date on the website at all times. You can delegate this responsibility to a Swap Manager.