14 February provides a great chance for guest house owners to take advantage of the romantic buzz and create a helpful boost to bookings.

Let’s dive in and take a look at how you can make this special day count.

1. Start with Love.

Valentine’s Day is one of the best and most fun days to be active in the hospitality industry. Why? Well, simply put, because it’s the one day of the year in which millions of people go the extra romantic mile for their partners.

Herein lies the great opportunity for guest house owners. The extra demand for romantic getaways and pampering stellar service. But that’s not all. Valentine’s Day gives your establishment a chance to jump in, share in the excitement and shine. Shine, as a guest house who cares, delivers and understand the essence of what Valentine’s means to its guests.

So when you start thinking about how to leverage it to your benefit. Start with how you can add value to all the much-needed love in the air. And yes, your bottom-line will thank you.

2. Create an offer they can’t refuse.

During February people will be trying to figure out how to make Valentine’s Day special for their partners. The main thing a guest house owner needs to figure out is what to offer and how to promote it.

A discounted package deal is one of the best offers you can put out there.

What exactly goes into the package will depend on your current accommodation services as well as a bit of extra romantic flair. A few things to stay mindful of when planning your package are:

  • Your offer has to be good quality and value for money for your target audience.
  • It needs to hit home on the specific needs and wants of your target audience.
  • Stay close to what you already provide.
  • Take your location and possible activities in your area into account.

To get your creative engine going here are a few ideas for packages:

  • Classic: Rose petals, champagne, breakfast in bed and chocolate covered strawberries.
  • Relaxed: Rose petals, premium wine, massage oil and a scented candle.
  • Custom: You provide a list of romantic goodies to choose from.
  • Concierge: Apart from accommodation you can include reservations at a specific restaurant or book an activity with a preferred service provider.

3. Identify your target audience.

For most guest houses the main target audience to reach is “couples”.

Interestingly, if you are able to segment further between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, survey results by Groupon has shown males and married individuals are the bigger spenders. This might be something to test in your own promotion.

If you are a well-established guest house you will have a valuable extra tool at your disposal. Your database of past guests. Take a good look, it might be possible to create a list of couples who stayed with you in the past. If you have a large database you might even be able to identify different target segments. For example:

  • Couples who stayed with you on previous Valentine’s Days.
  • Happy, loyal returning couples.
  • Couples who celebrated their wedding anniversary at your guest house.
  • Couples who spent a part of their honeymoon with you.

Keep in mind that you will be able to create different discounted offers for each of your identified segments.

4. Spread the word.

The following four online channels offer the best means to disperse your offer and reach your target audience:

Social Media

For most guest houses social media provide the easiest and quickest means to promote your Valentine’s special offer. Whether you are new in the game without a large following or older with a substantial fanbase, social media is a top choice. Three of most effective social channels in our experience is using your own blog, Facebook and Instagram. Using paid advertising on your social channels is highly recommended. Facebook advertising carries the benefit that it can be targeted precisely to the people you want to reach. Perfect for running a special Valentine’s Day promotion.


Almost all of your guests will visit their inbox at least once a day. It is one of the most powerful and cost-effective means to reach your target audience. It is especially recommended when you have your own database of guests who stayed with you in the past. An excellent means to offer discounted packages.

Advertisements (PPC)

Apart from the above mentioned social media advertisement another prime vehicle to use is Google Adwords. Especially to drive traffic to your website. When adding Google Adwords to the mix it is recommended that you create a landing page and do start early in the game.

Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s)

OTA’s are an important touch point. Definitely inform all the OTA’s you are using about your special offer.

One last important ingredient to keep in mind is to measure the success of your promotion. Take a look at your website’s analytics to see how it influenced traffic and bookings. This is very helpful, especially to learn and make adjustments to raise the success of future promotions.

If you need any assistance with your marketing efforts or should you require more info regarding promotions, please do get in touch with us at (+27) 021-556-3469 or info@tourismmarketing.co.za