You have a vacation accommodation in a rural zone that you want to rent? You are a rental owner looking for advice to get a maximum of visitors? This kind of situation can be difficult sometimes, but when we ask the good questions, efficient solutions can make you more profitable. Rural tourism is getting in the wind this days, promoting the “return to the roots” that people need. We are going to give you some advice to attract visitors in a rural vacation rental.
Focus on the most attractive features of your environment
Firstly, you need to find the main advantages of your region to highlight the qualities of your accommodation. Is it a touristic region? Then highlight the culture, the landscapes or the historic background of your place. Touristic regions are often deserted during the off-season, and it can be tough to rent its accommodations. but even in this case you can sell the “quiet” side of the place and the ability to discover the region without a massive crowd around you, or even offer some romantic escapes. Your accommodation is far from the city center? In this case you can attract people looking for an overnight stay without the trouble of getting inside a city, or simply looking not to spend too much money for a room in the city center. Then don’t forget to mention the practical aspect of your accommodation. Your rental is located in an agricultural region? Rural tourism is becoming a new trend, hardworking cities inhabitants have an increasing need to “come back to the roots” for a week end, and more and more booking portals can help you reach this target.
Offer parallel activities
Yes! It is very important to keep your visitors busy, even if there are many activities that can be done in the countryside, it is not obvious to everyone. Help your future visitors to have a memorable vacation, think of what is possible. Do you have neighbors having a farm or horses? You can offer bike rentals or horse riding tours as additional fees, or pottery classes in collaboration with your tourism office. There many options that also depends on the region you are. Is there a natural reserve close to your accommodation? Is it possible to observe various bird species? Is there a river where people can go fishing? Think about making a list of all what your region has to offer and don’t hesitate to sell your place. Moreover, it is important to have a TV in the accommodation and a good Wi-fi connection, evenings are not often animated in the countryside and when it rains your guest can spend a romantic night in front of good movie.
Create a list of restaurants and groceries stores
As your accommodation is located in the countryside, you better make sure your guest will be able to eat something. Often, there is no much choices of restaurants, and/or they close offseason. However, you must think about a few points, does my accommodation have a furnished kitchen? Where can my guest shop? Where can my guest eat? Does having a “table d’hotes” make sense in this case? Is there a small restaurant offering local and fresh food? Here, it’s essential to make a list of what exist, what can be done and what can’t. Then establish a list of possibilities to inform your guests, post it on your portals and your web site. Don’t hesitate to send your guests to local restaurants, as for trying local cuisine but also because restaurant owners will also send you guests to reciprocate.
Highlight on ecotourism and rural labels
Has we said it before, rural tourism is getting more and more popular. Holidays in the countryside, at the farm or in the vineyards, these new options allow people living in cities to breathe some fresh air. If you own an accommodation in a rural place it is easy to find agreements with local farmers, winegrowers and craftsmen to offer activities to your guests. Lots of rural labels or ecotourism labels now exist, and it can bring you this target customers. You might have to set some energy efficiency measures, waste or water management measures, but some labels are more demanding than others, it is up to you to choose the one that fits your desires.
Tourism office of your municipality
Quite often the simplest solutions are the best, do not underestimate the flow of tourist in your local tourism office. Visitors come for touristic advices and accommodation recommendations. Show your accommodation to your local tourism office, they will add you in their own listings for free and when guest contact the office they will gladly send the guest directly to you.
Design and Comfort
Comfort and design are one of the main points you must care about, it’s not because your accommodation isn’t located in a big city that its style should be neglected, it is an essential part of the customer’s experience. If your vacation rental is uncomfortable and the furniture is ugly, your guest will never come back. It can be though to rent an accommodation in rural areas and you must give a good reason to your clients to come back, the style and the comfort of the place are part of the reason. It is also a good way to create a customer loyalty, since the guests are looking for a quiet and resting holiday, if they find the stay pleasant, they won’t hesitate to come back for another weekend.
Maintain your web page
The web site is the main marketing element in the vacation rental, it is the “vitrine” of your home rental. Even though you are present on booking portals, many guests will try to contact you directly, to avoid the extra costs, for that they will visit your web page to find your direct contact and to see more pictures about their future rental and the surroundings. It is very important to pay attention to your web site presentation, choose nice pictures (preferably taken in spring or summer), to list the restaurants and activities to do in the region and the activities that can be included in the booking (e.g. bike rental). Many web site creators now exist and are easy to understand. This will allow you to be visible and it can turn out to be a great advantage. The Smoobu Channel Manager allows you to create an esthetic web site in a few clicks, without having any computing experience. You can add pictures, text and a booking tool directly synchronized with all your booking portals, it is a simple and efficient way to centralize all your tools for your vacation rental.
Choose your booking portals
It is obvious that choosing well your booking portals is essential to attract more guests. The giants such as Booking.com and Airbnb are famous and efficient, they will bring you many bookings and they must not be neglected. However, many portals exist on a national level and can be as performant (Abritel.fr in France, HomeAaway Group, Tripadvisor, etc.), but you can also have a look on specialized channels concerning rural tourism or ecotourism platforms. This type of tourism is getting very famous in France and Spain. Those platforms are useful tools concerning countryside tourism and can help you to gain new guests. The channel manager from Smoobu can help you to synchronize your portals in one single software, it helps you save time in the treatment of your bookings and avoid overbooking situations.
When you multiply your booking portals, you also increase the risk of double bookings (overbooking), that’s why it is interesting to sign up for a Channel manager. Smoobu allows you to centralize all your bookings in one single software, that is to say, when an apartment is booked on one channel, the dates automatically blocked on the other portals. You can thus save some time on the treatment of bookings, avoid double bookings and increase your profits by multiplying your presence on booking portals.
Boost your communication
To keep track of your former clients is essential, but it can be very demanding to keep up a repertory of your former clients when you have various portals. Moreover, it is easier to create a customer loyalty when we know who they are. Smoobu offers you a simple and efficient solution, the channel manager creates a complete data base of every guest you ever had, no matter from which booking engine they reserved. You can use automatic emails to promote your accommodation, make discounts, create seasonal offers, etc. So the next time your guest contacts you they won’t have to go through the booking portal. Communication is a key to success, so take advantage of it!