For many years small to medium accommodation providers felt like they were competing with the big name hotels, these days small accommodation have the upper hand, as travellers choose a smaller more intimate holiday experience.
It would have seemed, in years gone by, an impossible task to compete with hotel chains, with their professionally designed websites filled with high resolution, alluring photos, booking links directly on their websites and links to tourism sites. Luckily in recent years with the introduction of Channel Managers and Booking Engines linked directly to your own website, the accommodation provider can now showcase their accommodation to a much wider audience and at the same standard as the hotel chains and to a much broader demographic.
It has been proven time and again that travellers are now more interested in finding smaller more interesting places to visit. A more intimate place to stay that brings them closer to the outdoors and away from multi-level, identical air-conditioned hotel rooms with no personality. Tourism Research Australia found that domestic travellers spent a record 45.1 billion in regional areas to June 2016, the research also found that there is an increasing amount of domestic Australian travel and people are shifting toward more active outdoor pursuits, leading them to book smaller places closer to their desired activities.
As a small to medium local accommodation location, you have the ability to bring the traveller closer to all that your local area has to offer. Travellers of today are doing their research on where they want to go and what they want to see and travel is becoming more specific. It’s not just a general area people are visiting now days, when booking a trip your guests will study up on local cuisine, entertainment and sites to see. You have the opportunity to give them a more authentic connection to your location. This is your area you need to promote everything you can, the aim is to lure tourists to your local areas away from the large hotel chains and groups so they can experience the reason you, as the manager of the accommodation, chose to live there in the first place. Be it the beach, rainforest or country area, you need to tempt these clients away from standard hotel tourism areas by showing them what being small and local has to offer.
Small to medium accommodation properties are also able to offer a more personalised service. It is also up to you to give the customer all those little extras that will make their experience memorable and personal, things they wouldn’t receive anywhere else. As well as the little bonuses like free parking and free wifi, which is becoming increasing important or simply complementary bottled water. It all comes back to reviews and service and supplying your guests with the unexpected that they would never get from a large hotel chain. Because going the extra mile leads to good reviews, which leads to more bookings and so on until you achieve early retirement.
It’s about your guests feeling welcome and having a clean room to go to at the end of the day, but with your small accommodation you can offer the little extras they can’t get from big chains, a small library of second hand books to read by the pool, DVD hire, local suggestions and insider knowledge.
The bonus of smaller accommodation is that you can make slight changes to your low number of rooms to make it feel like an upgrade has occurred. New soft furnishings or artwork in rooms, outdoor areas can be improved with new plants and outdoor furniture or simply move around the existing pieces for a fresh look. You can then follow up with new photos on your website and social media or with blog and article topics, which keeps Google happy and your search engine results improve.
It all comes back to keeping your accommodation fresh, clean and interesting which is something the big hotels with their hundreds of rooms would find hard to achieve.
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