Frequently Asked Questions by the hotel

Most popular questions

  In short, what is HotelSwaps?
HotelSwaps is a community of hotel owners, operators and hospitality executives who trade available rooms in high quality hotels worldwide using HotelCoins as a mean of payment.

See how it works.
  Why should my hotel join HotelSwaps?
1. Your hotel is paid in HotelCoins each time you accept a reservation at your hotel from another HotelSwaps member. You can hereafter use HotelCoins to pay for stays at other member hotels worldwide - saving on your business and leisure travel expenses.

2. Your hotel also earns ancillary revenues from HotelSwaps members. Members currently spend in average USD 275 per night on room upgrades, additional room nights, F&B, spa etc.

3. You can integrate HotelCoins as part of your employee reward programme. HotelCoins can be transferred to anyone of your choice. Offering HotelCoins is a great way to incentivise key executives at little or no cost.

4. In case you earn more HotelCoins than you can use, HotelSwaps can broker your excess HotelCoins to other members for cash and hereby increase your room revenues.

5. You become part of an exclusive network of like-minded hoteliers. HotelSwaps connects hospitality executives around the world giving you the opportunity to make new professional contacts and provide fellow hoteliers with meaningful feedback.
  Who can apply for membership?
Any owner, operator or general manager of a licensed hotel may apply for a hotel membership.

Professionals of the hotel industry, who cannot trade rooms on behalf of a hotel, can also join the HotelSwaps community with a Guest membership. HotelSwaps will verify the applicant’s relationship with the hotel industry prior to accepting a Guest membership.

See our Membership Options page to help you decide which option better suits your needs.

Membership options

  What are the features 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 to earn HotelCoins and ancillary revenues
• transfer your hotel’s HotelCoins to yourself and one more person of your choice
• reserve or request a room at any participating hotel for you or anyone you wish
• receive 500 HotelCoins of credit line upon joining which may be used for immediate reservations in advance of receiving your first inbound HotelSwaps guests

Basic members do not pay an annual membership fee, however your hotel:
• pays a 20% commission of the HotelCoins earned from inbound reservations
• can only transfer up to 1,000 HotelCoins annually from the hotel’s account balance

For a quick overview, see our Membership Options page.
  What are the features 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 additional benefits:
• You do not pay any commission of the HotelCoins earned from inbound reservations.
• Your hotel receives a minimum of 1500 HotelCoins credit line upon joining which may be used for immediate reservations before you receive your first inbound HotelSwaps guests.
• There is no annual HotelCoin transfer limit from your hotel’s HotelCoin balance, which will allow for longer reservations and/or stays in higher category hotels.
• You can transfer HotelCoins to anyone you wish so they can book their own HotelSwaps reservations.
• You get access to a personal exchange concierge who will help you maximize your exchange benefits.
• You have access to HotelSwaps’ Supplier Programme allowing you to pay with HotelCoins for their products and services.
• You can sell any excess HotelCoins you earn to other HotelSwaps members through the HotelCoin brokerage programme.

For a quick overview, see our Membership Options page.
  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 HotelCoin® Currency

What are HotelCoins®?
HotelCoins are the digital currency that enable the trade of hotel rooms between HotelSwaps members. Think of it as the private currency of the hospitality community.
  What can I use HotelCoins® for?
You can use HotelCoins to pay for reservations at other hotel members, reward your key executives, or purchase products and services from our Supplier Programme.
How do I earn HotelCoins®?
Your hotel will earn HotelCoins as payment for accepting inbound reservations from other HotelSwaps members.
How do you determine the HotelCoin® value of a hotel stay?
In order to offer a fair exchange between members, the HotelCoins per Room Night booked through HotelSwaps is determined by the hotel’s pricing category and destination 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 hotel category, determine the HotelCoin 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 pricing 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 HotelCoins® Expire?
HotelCoins on your hotel’s HotelCoin account do not expire as long as your hotel is a member of HotelSwaps. HotelCoins transferred from your hotel’s HotelCoin account to a personal Guest account can be used for reservations for a period of 2 years from the day of the transfer - where after they expire. In case a Guest has received more than one HotelCoin issuance, the HotelCoins used for new reservations will follow the First-In-First-Out principle.  
Is there a limit to how many HotelCoins® I can transfer from my hotel account?
Premium member hotels do not have a limit to how many HotelCoins they can transfer to guest accounts. Basic member hotels can only transfer up to 1,000 HotelCoins per calendar year.
  Who can I transfer my hotel’s HotelCoins® to?
Hotel Managers and Swap Managers of both Basic and Premium member hotels can transfer HotelCoins to their personal Guest accounts. They can hereafter make reservations for themselves and on behalf of anyone else. Hotel Managers and Swap Managers of Premium member hotels can in addition transfer HotelCoins to anyone else of their choice. The recipients or HotelCoins can hereafter log in and organize their own HotelSwaps reservations. 
  Can I sell the HotelCoins® that my hotel has earned?
Yes. HotelSwaps offers a HotelCoin brokerage service to Premium hotel members, whereby they can sell their surplus of HotelCoins to other HotelSwaps members who are short of HotelCoins.

Contact HotelSwaps Member Services in case you would like to sell HotelCoins from your hotel’s account balance to other HotelSwaps members. HotelSwaps will endeavour to broker such sales on a First In First Out basis (FIFO).

When HotelSwaps has found a buyer for your HotelCoins, your hotel will be paid GBP 0.30 / EUR 0.34 / USD 0.40 per HotelCoin sold depending on the currency of your hotel.

To keep the fundamental spirit of HotelSwaps being a club for hoteliers, owners of hospitality real estate and hospitality executives, you cannot sell HotelCoins directly to third-parties.
  Can I buy HotelCoins® if I do not have enough for my reservation?
Yes. You can purchase additional HotelCoins at a value of GBP 0.38 / EUR 0.43 / USD 0.50 per HotelCoin depending on your preferred currency, offering you hotel reservations for an average of approximately 50% of the public OTA price.

The purchase of HotelCoins is facilitated by the HotelSwaps brokerage service which allows HotelSwaps members who have earned a surplus of HotelCoins to sell their excess to other HotelSwaps members who are short of HotelCoins.

The HotelCoin brokerage service can in effect be compared to the friends and family rate programmes which large hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton also offer to their employees.

Managing Inventory and Availability

Can I advertise available rooms at my hotel?
Yes. You can add and return room nights on your availability calendar at any point in time. Guests will receive immediate confirmations of their reservations when booking from your advertised rooms.

Hotels that offer instant bookings are more readily promoted to other members and can therefore expect to receive a higher number of inbound reservations and earn more HotelCoins.
  What room type do I deposit? 
The only room type that can be deposited on HotelSwaps is a double standard room or your hotel’s equivalent lowest category room type for a double occupancy. If you wish to earn additional HotelCoins for a confirmed reservation, our Member Services team will be pleased to offer and arrange for upgrades in HotelCoins with the Guest. 
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, transfer HotelCoins, update hotel information and supervise all communication related to HotelSwaps. Swap Managers will be issued with their own login credentials to the hotel's HotelSwaps account.

Even if you do intend to personally manage your HotelSwaps availability and reservations, we 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 rooms. If you have not deposited rooms during a certain period, but another 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 summarized on your login page.   
  How can I earn additional revenues from HotelSwaps reservations? 
The rooms reserved through HotelSwaps are paid for with HotelCoins 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.  
  What is the cancellation policy?
For any reservations cancelled up to 15 days before check-in, the hotel’s HotelCoin account will be debited with the same number of HotelCoins paid 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 cancelled within 14 days to check-in, the hotel keeps 100% of the HotelCoins paid.

 

Supplier Programme

  What is the Supplier Programme?
The Supplier Programme allows Premium member hotels to pay with their HotelCoins 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 HotelCoins under the ‘Supplier Programme’ tab on HotelSwaps’ homepage.
  How are barter agreements organised with suppliers?
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 HotelCoins to be paid. The hotel is responsible for transferring HotelCoins to the supplier as payment prior to the delivery of the product or service. 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 Supplier Programme. HotelSwaps acts only as a mechanism for issuing the HotelCoins 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 HotelCoins 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 purchased with your HotelCoins.  
  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 your HotelCoins for cash and the supplier will do the same.
  Can I barter with suppliers outside the Supplier Programme?
Of course you can. The Supplier Programme is meant to facilitate your access to products and services that can be bartered for using HotelCoins. You are free to use the HotelCoins to barter with whomever you deem relevant for your own business operation.

 

Hotel Membership application

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 criterion?
To maintain a minimum level of quality of hotel members, hotels with published average rates of less than USD100 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 to access your new HotelSwaps account. A HotelSwaps Member Services executive 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 HotelCoins 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?
We will set up your hotel profile on HotelSwaps when approving your membership. You are hereafter responsible for keeping the hotel information up to date on the website at all times. You can delegate this responsibility to a Swap Manager.