With a greatly reduced demand worldwide for hotel stays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some forward-thinking initiatives could benefit guests who are prepared to invest now and reap the rewards later.

A number of hotels are offering deals in which people can buy gift vouchers now for future stays, and they will increase in value by the time they are redeemed. One website, Buy Now, Stay Later, is encouraging travel enthusiasts to help support hotels industry through its “hotel bonds” initiative. The industry-wide program for hotels all over the world allows guests to purchase hotel bonds now in increments of $100 (€92.16), and once the purchasers are ready to book a stay at a later date, and after the 60-day maturation period, they’ll be given $150 (€138.25) worth of value for every $100 spent.

A couple handing over a card at a hotel reception.jpg
Some hotels are offering deals in which people can buy gift vouchers now for future stays © andresr/Getty Images

Another website, Hotel Credits, has been established by Porter & Sail, which provides guest services technology to independent hotels. Hotels listed on its site are offering gift certificates, most commonly $300 (€276.49) on a $200 (€184.33) purchase, and in the majority of cases, the credit can be used throughout the hotels, including their bars, restaurants and shops. "We can all agree that travel and hotel stays will come back at some point, although none of us knows when," says Porter & Sail. "These credits are sold at a deep discount to get money in the door for hotels. For travelers, it means the biggest opportunity ever to get that dream stay in the near future. With no risk, because we will issue a refund if a hotel were to close."

If this kind of 'invest now, reap the rewards later' initiative appeals, check out Buy Now, Stay Later here and Hotel Credits here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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