How can a hotelier or innkeeper combat the onslaught of Airbnb listings in their community and help guests find them? And, what do the rising popularity of homeaway.com and popular travel ranking sites like tripadvisor.com say about the way folks are traveling and vacationing these days?
Well, the old adage of “location, location, location” has never been more true. As a recent piece by Adweek states, folks want to return home with stories about their trip — the food, the people, the smells. They want to feel “one” with the community they’re adopting, regardless of whether they stay for the week or the weekend.
Here are some tips, so those in the hospitality business can be on the offense, rather than defense:
1. Create a blog. Share great itinerary ideas in top categories: traveling with kids, couples weekend away, rainy day, 48 hour marthon, foodie tour, … et cetera. If you give your potential visitors the best inside scoop around, they’ll choose you over the competitor any (and every!) day of the week.
2. Inspire happy guests to leave a positive review. There are lots of places where vacationers go to get the dirt on their digs before they arrive in town. The most popular include TripAdvisor and Facebook. Encourage folks to share the love with posts to those sites. Sometimes it’s as easy as a verbal request upon check out — and a nice email once you notice their laudatory entry.
3. Tell the story through photos. Part of what folks love about Airbnb is that they can go online, from miles away, and see the **exact** location where they’ll be sleeping, and where they’ll be making breakfast — and can see photos of the local beach and the chairs and umbrella available (for free) for anyone who wants to head that way. Be specific in marketing your property — and don’t be shy about all the fun, personal touches that makes your property superior.