Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals
Hotel Industry Studies Say ‘Yes, Hotels are Nervous’…
Well over a decade in the Whistler vacation rental business has proven to me that hotels are nervous. Of course they are. So are B & B’s.
If you’ve been following Whistler vacation rentals by owner (vrbo) or owner direct rentals in Whistler, you’ll remember the Tom Barratt days at Muni Hall. Those days sucked if you were renting out your Whistler home without all the proper paperwork.
Tom Barratt and the Whistler Bylaw Department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to prosecute anyone who was considered to be breaking Whistler’s Tourist Accommodation rules. Commonly referred to in those days as Whistler TA Zoning.
Tom even managed to drive Allura Direct right out of town and pulled their Whistler business license…
Oh, how the vacation rental by owner landscape has changed since those days. Now we are seeing massive shifting of travel dollars (and investor dollars) towards startups like HomeAway and AirBnB. No doubt that Whistler hotels are nervous.
Thanks to Matt’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, we can get the goods from 2 recent studies about the hotel industry…
1) Travellers Want Authenticity
According to the report entitled ‘A New Breed Of Traveler’ by the global hotel consultant group HVS London, today’s travellers (compared to those of generations passed) are looking less for traditional hotel luxuries and more for local experiences and the sensation of being connected.
Claiming that very few hotels have changed over the last 50 years, the hotel report says “…the same in-room amenities, the same heavy curtains, the same check-in process, and the same small desk. This is no longer a place where the modern-day traveler feels at home.”
The researcher goes on to say, “This new segment of traveler is no longer looking for white-linen service, bellboys to carry their luggage up to their room or a concierge…the current generation of travellers wants to feel completely at home, connected and to be in a setting where they can be part of an experience.”
If you read Push Benefits, Not Features, you’ll know that vacation rental marketers have a huge advantage over hoteliers in that we are pushing experiences (not necessarily amenities).
And if you were smart enough to pick up a Vacation Rental Insider’s Guide, you know that sharing insider secrets, engaging stories, and authentic experiences is quite simply the way of the future.
“Guests are looking for a home-away-from-home,” the report resolves. “The new era is about participating in an experience, rather than flaunting wealth. Travellers today don’t want to feel like they are in a corporate setting, but thrive in environments where they can interact with people. They want everyone to participate and don’t mind interacting with new people.”
Take care of your guest like they are a visiting VIP to your neighborhood, and you’ve won this battle over the local chain hotel.
2. Travelers Seek Inspiration Online & Want More Family Time
Another report that plays perfectly into our wheelhouse was just released by Google entitled, The 2013 Traveler.
According to the report, “The web is increasingly a fundamental source of inspiration for new travel…as (travellers) seek a variety of content and information online.”
Two features of the report that jive with the booming vacation rental trend were that
a) travellers are planning more in advance and
b) family travel is on the rise.
Here are the quotes respectively:
“68% (of travellers) began researching online before they decided where to travel in 2013 versus 65% in 2012.” That means anyone who has started a blog or focused on Helping, Not Selling their potential guests is on precisely the right track.
And “49% (of travellers) plan to travel more frequently with family in the coming year versus 46% in 2012.” We all know vacation rentals are better for groups/families than hotels. So this one is no big secret.
Read the whole story on Matt’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog.