February 11, 2020
Modern Travelers Shift Focus to Experiences
Travel activities, tours, and attractions are more popular than ever. This is great news for property managers since there are many ways to use experiences to grow your business.
- In 2018, Phocuswright’s annual U.S. Consumer Travel Report reveals that tours, activities, and attractions are the leading travel product.
- Phocuswright’s data shows that 80% of U.S. travelers participated in a tour, activity, or ticketed attraction on their last vacation.
- Travelers were more likely to buy an experience (tour or activity) than a plane ticket, a hotel, or a rental car.
With such high participation, there are many new opportunities for vacation rental property managers to get involved with activities. Interest in travel experiences is also rising as Millennials come into the marketplace and international travel increases. The data is even more staggering for both young and international travelers. 86% of travelers between the age of 18 and 34 participated in tours and activities, and 89% of international travelers participated in tours and activities while traveling abroad.
If you’re a property manager, this data shouldn’t surprise you. You know that travelers come to your destination to experience your local attractions. The goal, therefore, is to align your company with your destination’s top activities, so that you become the source for what your guests want most.
Giving Guests What They Want
Giving your guests exactly what they want is the best way to create customer loyalty. As property managers, it’s important to help guests find a vacation home that fits their needs. Families want big kitchens and private pools. Surfers want a place near the waves. Couples like romantic spots with nice views. But this is just the beginning. To truly capture your guest’s hearts, you must provide more of what they are seeking—fun experiences. Here are some ways to connect your guest with your destination’s top experiences.
Associate Guest Experiences with Your Accommodations
When your guests return home from their vacation, what they will remember most is the fun experiences they had. Too often, however, guests associate experiences solely with the activity provider, such as the rafting company or the dolphin tour guide. If you connect your guests to activities, your guests will associate the experiences they had with your company aswell.
How to Create this Association:
- Feature local attractions on your website.
- Offer complimentary activities with your vacation rentals.
- Add local guides and activity suggestions to your on-property guides.
- Follow up with email marketing associated with experiences.
- Educate reservationists on the top activities and current conditions.
Become Familiar with Top Activity Providers
Connecting your guests to top activity providers causes them to associate you with the experiences they have. Therefore, it’s very important to suggest quality tours and attractions.
As locals, you have the advantage. Here are some tactics:
- Get to know your destination’s top activities.
- Ask guests for feedback to learn what they enjoy.
- Participate in activities yourself to see first-hand what they are like and if the activity provider is providing great experiences.
- Once you determine who the top activity providers are, decide how you want to incorporate activities into your accomodations.
Request Feedback from your Guests
Feedback from your guests gives you authentic information about which activities they enjoyed and what the experiences were like. Firsthand knowledge is a valuable resource. It allows you to inform future guests and become the local expert.
Be personal, and your guests will be honest. Here are a few ideas:
• Train reservationists to ask your guests about their trip and suggest activities.
• Keep track of popular itineraries.
• Send follow up surveys with questions about the activities they participated in.
• Suggest popular activities pre-arrival to allow guests to plan their activities.
• Train activity providers to ask your guests where they are staying.
Engage with Guests on Social Media
Social media is all about authenticity. So, a successful social media campaign requires genuine content. The good news is travelers love sharing highlights of their trip.
Stay active on social media and thank your guests with genuine interactions. Here are a few social media tips:
• Create a brand presence, using consistent hashtags and messaging.
• Follow, make friends, and engage with your socially active guests.
• Host photo contests and encourage your guests to share photos of their vacation experiences using a branded hashtag.
• Use platforms relevant to your demographic.
• Build authentic content with updated photos and articles.
We Can Help
We travel to experience new things, and at Xplorie, we love giving travelers what matters most to them. As property managers navigate the evolving experiences landscape, we’re here to help you succeed. Find out more information about Xplorie’s free-to-guest activity programs.
Is your destination missing in our active markets? Get in touch with us or visit us at one of the upcoming industry events, and we’ll work with you to get you on the map!