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In a recent poll, TripAdvisor surveyed more than 44,000 tourists and hoteliers about their vacation plans for 2016, presenting a snapshot of the hottest travel trends and developments in the industry. As a host, you can capitalize on these top trends to increase the number of guests who visit your vacation rental.
When travelers book a room they are craving experiences, with a sizable 69 percent of those surveyed by TripAdvisor saying they want to try something new in 2016.
Travelers use home sharing services because they want an experience they can’t find in a conventional hotel. However, only 11% of American adults have stayed in a vacation rental, so there’s a lot of room for growth for alternative lodging options like your Airbnb rental.
But what experiences make your rental different from the scores of others in your neighborhood?
Create a unique, authentic adventure by combining your home’s best features with local amenities. If you own a big kitchen, for example, encourage guests to create an evening meal with ingredients from a local farmers market. Alternatively, recommend the best wines from a nearby vineyard or local wine shop.
Forty-six percent of travelers said free Wi-Fi was a must-have, and if an accommodation didn’t provide this amenity, they looked for alternative options. Moreover, 26 percent of travelers said they look for super-fast Wi-Fi when booking a room, with 11 percent prepared to pay an additional fee for this service.
Don’t forget to include Wi-Fi in your short-term rental listing. For example, Airbnb makes your listing visible to users who search for vacation rentals that have the Internet – but only when you add this feature in the “Amenities” menu.
A cool, comfortable room was at the top of many travelers’ wish lists in TripAdvisor’s poll, with 63 percent of those questioned citing air conditioning as more important than breakfast service and a swimming pool.
A good HVAC system instantly makes your property more attractive to guests, especially in cities like San Diego where summer temperatures hover in the high 70s. It’s one of those features that drives booking rates and makes your home stand out from those of your rivals.
“TV tourism” is on the rise, with 20 percent of travelers visiting a city or neighborhood because they saw it on a television show. TripAdvisor’s findings echo a 2012 study from Tourism Competitive Intelligence, a research agency that found a correlation between popular movies and tourist revenue, with 40 million travelers choosing a destination because a movie was filmed there.
Vacation rental hosts can profit from this trend by including must-see filming locations on their Airbnb or HomeAway listing and in their house manual. Seattle, for example, provided the backdrop for “Twin Peaks” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” Los Angeles, with its abundance of film locations – Beverly Hills’ Beverly House featured in a pivotal scene in “The Godfather,” while Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet in downtown L.A. is seen in “Forrest Gump” – makes it an attractive vacation rental spot for movie buffs, too.
Thirty-three percent of tourists plan to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did in 2015, which spells good news for you as a host. Not only will more guests indulge in a night’s stay at your property, but an influx of travelers could prove fruitful for the local economy, with visitors likely to spend cash in nearby restaurants, bars, and stores, too. In the United States, vacation rentals generated more than $8,079 million in revenue in 2015; expect this figure to increase this year.
TripAdvisor’s 2016 poll demonstrates a shift in travel habits, with the bulk of tourists surveyed looking for unusual experiences they can’t find anywhere else. Equipping your property with features like Wi-Fi and air conditioning could also prove lucrative by attracting more guests to your home and ensuring they have a good experience.
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