The travel industry has seen many changes in the past decade including a rise in the number of vacation rentals all over the world. With online platforms like VRBO, Airbnb and Home Away, more and more travellers are opting to stay in alternative accommodations instead of the standard hotel or hostel. Since this trend shows no signs of stopping, tour and activity operators should not ignore the potential of this alternative distribution channel.
Here are 5 ways for you to work with holiday rental operators such as Airbnb hosts.
1. Do your homework
You will need to spend time researching your local area to find holiday rental hosts near you. Once you’ve identified the people who operate in your area and who you’d like to work with, craft out a great introductory message.
Be sure to introduce yourself, your company and include the details of your product offering. You want to come across as professional and trustworthy. Feel free to include your website’s address, your social media accounts and your email address so that they can get in touch with you.
2. Bring the host on one of your tours or activities
We know that word of mouth marketing is one of the best way for you to grow your business and having your tours recommended by locals could do wonders for your company. Why not turn locals in your area into your very own brand ambassadors by bringing them on one of your tours or activities?
This would give them first hand experience to draw from when telling travellers or even other locals about your company and your products.
3. Figure out what else you can offer these customers
You could even work with these vacation rental operators to figure out additional offerings you could provide their customers with, for example transportation from the rental property to the meeting point for your tour or activity.
4. Offer hosts a referral commission
A great way to incentivise vacation rental operators to promote your business is by offering them a referral commission. Of course the percentage of commission you offer is up to you but if they’re going to be putting effort into helping your business grow, you should consider offering them some sort of payment for long-term sustainability instead of solely relying on their good will.
5. Provide them with an ample supply of updated brochures
Just like you would promote your tours and activities through a hostel and hotel, the same rules apply here. Make sure you’ve got brochures to pass on to your new found partners. It is the simplest form of marketing. All you need to do is prepare the brochure and get the vacation rental operators to lay it out on a table. What could be easier?
Want to get listed on Airbnb Experiences? Catch this webinar on demand for insider tips.