Are you unsure how to attract domestic travelers to your vacation rental? Domestic tourism became a key travel trend in 2020 and we believe this trend will continue well into 2021. Domestic travel will drive the recovery of the tourism industry in 2021. In 2020, we saw so-called ‘staycations’ increase by 2 to 3 times in Europe. This allowed homeowners who were ready to pivot their business to have an 80% occupancy rate despite the challenging situation.
Now is the time to start thinking about how you can attract national guests to your holiday home. We’ve compiled 9 tips on how you can leverage your marketing strategy to target domestic travelers.
Who are Domestic Travelers?
Domestic travelers are tourists who holiday within their own country. Although domestic travel is currently the most popular option due to Covid-19, it is not an entirely new trend. Many people have always opted for going on holidays closer to home for multiple different reasons. Domestic holidays may be more affordable, more environmentally friendly, or convenient for traveling with children or pets.
Domestic tourists usually crave a totally different holiday experience. While international vacationers often have busy schedules, trying to see as much as they can before they go home, domestic travelers are looking for something else. They want to relax and destress in a comfortable, family-friendly environment. With the rise of remote working, we are also seeing an increase in people combining work and travel and temporarily relocating to another part of the country for a few weeks or months. These remote workers (also known as ‘workationers’) are searching for accommodation with a quiet, well-equipped workspace where they can be productive throughout the day before they head to the beach or lake afterward.
How Can I Market My Vacation Rental to Domestic Travelers?
1. Optimize Your Listing to Emphasize Your Perks
Optimize your listing to emphasize what is essential for domestic travelers. This includes key amenities such as Wi-Fi, kitchen appliances, TV, and anything else that might make your accommodation stand out from the crowd, such as a Netflix subscription, a hot tub, or some board games to play with the family. If you have done any recent renovations, be sure to mention these too. It is also important for national guests to know whether you offer parking spaces and how close your accommodation is to the nearest train or bus station.
2. Reevaluate Your Pictures
Domestic travelers are looking for a home away from home, a place where they can truly unwind. Reevaluate your pictures to make sure you present your vacation rental as the ideal accommodation for a relaxing getaway. Showcase your cozy rooms, high-quality amenities, and well-equipped kitchen. Make them feel at home at a first glance.
3. Partner with Local Businesses
Partner with local businesses to promote your vacation rental. This is an excellent way to target domestic travelers. Discuss with them whether they could promote your accommodation on their social media platforms or website, and in return, you recommend their business to your guests and even offer them discounts. Approach local businesses and ask them if they are interested in cross-promoting with you. It could be an excellent opportunity for you both.
4. Ensure Thorough Cleanliness
Travelers are prioritizing safety and cleanliness and this should also be a top priority for vacation rental owners. Be sure to make guests aware of your cleaning procedures before booking. Guarantee them that your holiday home will be correctly cleaned and sanitized before their stay and make small gestures such as providing them with complimentary hand sanitizer, offering an additional cleaning for longer stays and always providing fresh linen and towels.
5. Optimize Your Price and Offer Discounts
Now is a good time to optimize your price to compete in the market. Adapt your prices based on real data and make your property more competitive. With an increase in last-minute bookings, we recommend activating last-minute discounts to help fill up your calendar. You can also offer early-bird discounts to encourage bookings for the coming season.
6. Opt for a Flexible Cancellation Policy
Nowadays, travelers are worried about unpredictable travel bans and restrictions and are more likely to book an accommodation with a more flexible cancellation policy. Offering a more flexible policy makes your listing more attractive to today’s travelers and can increase your bookings.
7. Accept Pets in Your Accommodation
The majority of domestic travelers take their car on holidays. Driving to their destination means that they can easily bring their four-legged friends along. This is especially important for travelers going on a long vacation and don’t want to leave their pets at home. You can reach a much wider audience by allowing guests to take their furry friends with them. By doing this, you will maximize your bookings and profits and even earn some extra money by charging an additional fee for pets.
8. Communicate Clearly with Your Guests
Communicate clearly with your guests and let them know in advance what they can expect when they arrive at your vacation rental. Be a great listener. Take time to address their concerns and questions and answer them promptly. Happy guests are more likely to leave you good reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask them to write a review of your property at the end of their stay. This way, they can highlight the wonderful experience they’ve had and all the great features of your vacation rental.
9. Use a Channel Manager
And finally, lessen your administrative burden by using a channel manager like Bookiply. This means you will be present on all key travel portals, which will give your property more visibility. You will also have more time to focus on the little things and provide an excellent experience for your guests — a win-win situation!
Now it is your turn! Take advantage of this new trend and start adapting your vacation rental to this new travel trend. This will help you get your vacation rental business back on its feet after a tough year. So go ahead, choose some of our tips and start attracting more domestic travelers today.