12 Target Audiences to Maximize Occupancy of Your Vacation Rental

This guide explains the various types of guests and their respective needs.

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As an owner or manager of a vacation rental, you probably already have certain guests in mind that you want to target with your ads. In this guide, you will find out which other target audiences you should consider targeting to achieve a good occupancy rate for your vacation rental.

How to reach your target group

If you want to target a specific group, your ad should contain information that is important for this specific audience. The portal on which you post your vacation home also plays a role. In addition to the major booking platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com and Vrbo, there are numerous other booking portals that specialize in specific regions or niches such as houseboats, villas, etc…

In addition, you can receive commission-free direct bookings from your own website with an integrated booking system like the one Smoobu provides. You may also post your advertisements on social networks.

On your social networks, you should use professional photos and list the amenities that are important for your guests. For example, by posting a picture of children playing in your vacation rental, you can appeal to families with children. By posting a picture of a happy couple, you can target couples on their honeymoon.

Always keep in mind that your vacation rental should appeal to as many groups as possible. By doing this, you can hopefully avoid vacancies and have better chances at bookings in the all year long.

Target audiences that your vacation apartment should appeal to

  1. Families with small children

    For families with children under 5 years old, preparing for a vacation means a lot of work. Families are always super happy when they find a family-friendly accommodation that meets their needs. It may be worth it for you as the host to appeal to this target audience, because if families like your vacation rental, they might come back on their next vacation and become regular guests.

    A family-friendly vacation home should offer a safe environment as well as entertainment for the children. Parents want to enjoy their vacation and are always happy when the little ones can occupy themselves in a safe, fun environment.

  2. Couples

    Couples often want a romantic vacation and to enjoy time together. If you have a specific romantic spot in your accommodation, such as a hot tub, an open fireplace, or a two-person hammock, then you should showcase this in your photos. By doing this, you will appeal to couples who are looking for accommodation for a romantic weekend or who are on their honeymoon.

    A couple will also be happy about a small gift like a bottle of champagne and chocolates, which they can enjoy in your hot tub, or in the two-person hammock. This not only makes for great memories, but also may lead to positive reviews for you as the host.

  3. Larger groups

    Another important group to target for vacation rental owners are large groups looking for a place for family reunions, bachelor parties, birthday parties or simply a vacation amongst friends. Sports teams traveling for a competition or to train also fall into this category.

    Larger groups need above all need a lot of space. Therefore, the ideal accommodation has several bedrooms and couches that can be used as additional places to sleep. Groups also need ample seating, additional place settings, as well as a well-equipped kitchen suitable for preparing meals for lots of people.

    Since larger groups often arrive separately, these groups would most likely want to have multiple parking spaces or easy accessibility via public transport.

  4. Active vacationers

    If there are outdoor opportunities such as hiking, skiing, or sailing in the vicinity of your vacation rental, you should adapt your accommodation to the needs of your outdoorsy holidaymakers. For example, you can rent them skis, provide a shuttle service to the nearest ski resort, or even provide lockable storage facilities for expensive bikes and skis. You can also offer tours via a digital guest guide.

  5. Seniors

    Due to demographic changes, this target audience will become increasingly larger in the near future. Therefore, it is worthwhile for you as a host to make sure that your accommodation is senior-friendly. A senior-friendly vacation home should first and foremost be barrier-free and easily accessible.

  6. Travelers with handicaps

    Travelers with disabilities have special needs and therefore often have difficulties finding a suitable vacation rental. To appeal to this target audience, your accommodation should be barrier-free, and the furniture should be easy to rearrange to make more space. When furnishing your rental, make sure that the shower is also barrier-free and equip it with removable grab bars. This way you can adapt the bathroom to the needs of your guests.

    It is also important to have a parking space close to the apartment and a barrier-free entrance area or a foldable wheelchair ramp at the entrance.

    Your potential guests should be able to recognize the accessibility of the apartment from the photos in your ad. Be sure to post good pictures of the ground-level entrance and your barrier-free shower.

  7. Business travelers

    One target audience for your vacation home that you may not have thought of is business travelers. Many people who travel for work would rather have a vacation rental with enough space and privacy than a cramped hotel room. When choosing accommodations, business travelers value good accessibility (proximity to the airport, highway access, public transportation) as well as nearby dining options or delivery services.

    However, the most important criterion for these guests is fast, reliable internet, so they can easily participate in Zoom calls or prepare for their day ahead. Business travelers are also happy to if there is scanner or printer available to them with cables for connections for PCs, Macs and smartphones. These cables are often forgotten at home, and you can save your guests a lot of trouble by providing them. This can even lead to positive reviews from your guests.

    Similar equipment is also needed by students, weekenders and workers.

  8. Workation

    An exception to the business trip is the so-called “workation”. This refers to trips that combine vacation and work. In this case, the home office is relocated to a vacation home. This work model is becoming increasingly popular, in part due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

    For your accommodation to be suitable for a workation, it needs one or more workstations, fast and stable wireless internet, a well-equipped kitchen, and relaxation facilities for after-work activities.

  9. Vacationers with dogs

    Guests vacationing with dogs need options for walking their dogs. For this purpose, walking trails could be provided or you could advertise the proximity to public parks. Dog lovers will also be happy about a fenced garden.

    The furnishings in your accommodation should also be dog-friendly: You want to do without expensive furnishings and provide a place to sleep, dog toys and a bowl. There should also be no neighbors in the vicinity who could complain about a dog barking.

  10. Vacation Rental newcomers

    More and more people who have previously stayed in hotels are discovering vacation rentals. There are increased vacation rental options, that usually cost less than hotels. With this target audience you may have to do a little work ahead of to attract this type of customer.

    The first thing to do this is ensure you have lots of reviews and that they are positive. This way you can show that you are a serious host and that potential guests are in good hands in your vacation rental. You can reinforce this by addressing your guests personally and giving them a warm personal welcome.

    You even go so far as to provide classic hotel vacationers with a discount for new guests.

  11. Guests with allergies

    People with allergies often have difficulties finding suitable accommodation for their vacation. With this group you must take into account the needs of those with pollen allergies, dust mite allergies, people with animal hair allergies etc..

    If you are trying to appeal to those with allergies, you may not want to allow pets in your vacation home as well as prohibit smoking in the house. In addition, you should use bedding suitable for those with allergies and avoid carpets and other “dust catchers”.

    Also, be careful with houseplants: Mold can easily form here in the moist potting soil. With the help of an air purifier and pollen screens on the windows, you can ensure that pollen levels remain as low as possible. You should also avoid allergenic plants such as birch, ragweed, hazelnut trees, etc. in the garden and on the terrace.

  12. Foodies

    Another group of vacationers you can target with your vacation rental are foodies. This group like to visit food festivals, try out local delicacies and may want to cook for themselves from time to time.

    This group would also be happy to receive information about food festivals, wineries, breweries, chocolate factories and local markets. Maybe there is a particular delicacy in the region? You should mention it briefly in your listing description and provide your guests with a small sample such as a bottle of wine as a welcome gift. Foodies would be happy to hear restaurant recommendations and other culinary tips. It’s best to include these in your guest guide.

    This target audience also likes to cook for themselves and is happy to have a well-equipped kitchen with high-quality pans and pots, sharp knives, and extras such as a steamer or waffle iron.


There are probably more target audiences for your vacation rental than you thought. If you consider the needs of multiple groups, you’ll have plenty of bookings even in the off-season. Arming yourself with a channel manager like Smoobu will also help you manage all this and avoid double bookings.

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