As travellers have the luxury of more choice than ever before when planning their next trip, getting it right as a “host” can be the difference between checking in or checking out other properties.
In fact, research from Booking.com conducted with over 21,500 global travellers found that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) believe their stay has been improved by the person managing their accommodation going above and beyond.
From a helpful B&B manager equipped with local tips for their guests, to an apartment owner who takes pride in every little detail of their guest’s stay, the most unique stay experiences are often reflected in the special personalities of their hosts. That could be revealed in person or simply in the choices they make for their property.
The research reveals that over half (51 per cent) of travellers have even opted to stay in the same accommodation again primarily because of the host.
The role of a host will continue to carry significant weight for travellers seeking alternative types of stay this year. More than two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents planned to stay in accommodation in 2019 that allows them to interact with a property owner or manager – whether that’s someone who is around daily or who is only there to offer a warm welcome upon arrival.
“As with many elements of travel, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to catering to the different needs of travellers. Our research reveals just how important it is for accommodation owners and managers to get the balance right in order to ensure the most memorable stay experiences – whether in a home, apartment, guest house or other type of property,” said Olivier Gremillon, vice president at Booking.com.
“We believe in individuality and the fact that the perfect stay might look different for everyone. But one thing that is abundantly clear is that it doesn’t matter whether travellers want to feel at home, embrace the local culture, enjoy some peace and quiet, or simply escape, there’s nothing quite like the power of people to turn a stay into an unforgettable experience.”
The research also found that while some travellers are happy with a simple warm welcome, others have great expectations when it comes to what they want from hosts when travelling.
For most, the main advantage is feeling “at home”, with 66 per cent of global travellers stating that this is important. For 62 per cent the main perk of people-powered accommodation is the ability to take advantage of “insider” knowledge by staying in an accommodation owned by a native to that area.
What’s more, nearly half (45 per cent) of global travellers are looking to this insider know-how as a bottom line for their vacation budget too, hoping for tips to help them save money by avoiding tourist pitfalls.
An accommodation owner or manager even brings a social element to their trip for some, with 44 per cent of global respondents looking to boost their social circle, stating they would like to be invited to a party by the person managing their accommodation.