In today’s increasingly interconnected world, international travel is far from slowing down. Tourist arrivals from foreign countries grew 7 % in 2017, which was the 8th successive year of robust growth. Travellers continue to want to spend their vacations abroad and it is only easier and easier to do so.
From your perspective, this trend is also a thoroughly positive one. International travellers are great guests to have. Whether from a neighboring country or from across the ocean, these visitors tend to result in less headaches for you and better performances for your properties.
1. They spend more money. Travellers in general are spending more than ever on their holidays and international guests are no exception. The average international trip for Americans now averages €5,320 and French travellers spent 62% more money on vacations in 2018 than in 2017. Despite the growth in the French market, however, Germany still tops the charts in the EU for the highest average spending per person with the UK coming in at second.
2. They book longer stays. International travellers tend to book more nights in their holiday destinations, according to a report from Eurostat. This makes sense, as these individuals often must travel across greater distances and spend more on airfare to arrive at their accommodation. The advantage of longer stays is particularly interesting as a recent HomeAway report suggests that the average trip length will continue to shrink in the coming years.
3. They cancel less often. International travellers, who have to board a plane and plan further in advance to get great deals, cancel less often than those close by. For instance, while Italian bookings for domestic destinations are cancelled 62 % of the time, German bookings for Italian regions are only cancelled at roughly half that percentage.
4. Fewer unexpected pets or extra guests. Have you ever experienced how guests’ family members in the neighborhood or indecisive friends can join their plans last-minute? Or have you had more (or simply bigger) canine guests showing up than expected? Travelling longer distances means more serious planning, less spontaneity and fewer surprises!
5. They can be easily impressed. International guests are less familiar with your region and even your country generally. This means you can easily shine with your local expertise and cultural insight (see our entry on welcome books!). Guests from abroad will be especially thankful for these tips and will additionally be impressed with simple welcoming gestures, like a bottle of wine or a kind note.
To attract more international guests, you can easily adapt to their searching behavior and preferences, which often differ from travellers of your native country. The simplest way to do this is to ensure your property is ready to book far in advance of a given date because guests from abroad plan their vacations early.
Travellers from Germany and the UK, as the 2 biggest vacation spenders in the EU, tend to book in the first months of the year: 41 % of reservations from the UK in Lanzarote were booked in January and February. Similarly, 39 % of reservations from Germany in Conil de la Frontera were booked in those same months.
When UK Travellers Book Vacations in Lanzarote
When German Travellers Book Vacations in Conil de la Frontera
It is therefore critical that your property is visible and bookable far in advance, which includes, in the least, setting prices for the months ahead. It also means, however, that you ideally want your photos and descriptions to be at their finest. These adjustments will enable you to attract more of these international guests, who are growing exponentially in number and who are truly great visitors to have.