Booking.com uncovers that when it comes to hosting, it’s all about striking the perfect balance
Canadian travellers reveal their must-haves and must-have-nots when seeking vacation accommodations
Toronto – April 9, 2019 – Global travel leader Booking.com has revealed the driving factors behind Canadian travellers’ appetite to stay in different types of unique accommodations and the fine balance an accommodation host, manager or owner must strike to get the personal touch just right for guests. As travellers have the luxury of more choices than ever before, 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 of Canadian travellers (65%) 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 or a villa manager who shares home-cooked meals with those staying at their property, the most unique stay experiences are often reflected in the personalities of their hosts – whether that’s revealed in person or simply in the choices they make for their property.
The role of a host will continue to carry significant weight for Canadian travellers seeking alternative types of stay this year, with over half (56%) of respondents planning to stay in accommodations which allow them to interact with a property owner or manager in 2019 – whether that’s someone who is around daily or who is only there to offer a warm welcome upon arrival.
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 64% of Canadian travellers stating that this is important, while for 62%, 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, almost half (44%) of Canadian 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. For some, the accommodation owner or manager even brings a social element to their trip, with 31% of Canadian respondents looking to boost their social circle, stating they would like to be invited to a party by the person managing their accommodation.
It’s not all a party, however, for accommodation owners and managers. There is a fine balance to strike to ensure they’re providing the best possible experience for their guests, and not every traveller is keen for such a close relationship. Over half (58%), of Canadian travellers feel they only need to see their host once during their stay to feel welcomed and over a third (35%) only expect to be contacted once at check-in and check-out. What’s even trickier for hosts is that travellers also expect the people overseeing their stay to have a sixth sense and know how much is too much when it comes to their communication. 69% believe that hosts should intuitively know the right amount of time to spend with their guests. For four in five (80%) travellers, this means respecting their need for personal space too, noting that privacy is key.
To stack the odds in their favour, accommodation managers could look to embrace the most universally welcomed attributes that travellers are looking for. A warm smile could be the key to positive reviews, with over two-thirds (69%) of Canadian travellers expecting to meet someone friendly and personable upon arrival. Offering a personal touch, such as gifting local delicacies, can also make a big difference; added extras such as tea, coffee and edible treats help over half (51%) feel settled in their new environment.
Furthermore, hospitality can mean different things in different countries. When looking at the results by nationality, people in India (84%), Colombia (80%) and Brazil (80%) feel making sure guests are well fed is key (compared to the Canadian average of 68%), whereas Thai (74%) and Chinese (60%) people consider it important to keep their guests well-entertained (compared to the Canadian average of 36%). For 79% of Italian hosts, it’s all about adding small touches that create a welcoming atmosphere, such as arranging a crackling fire or a candle-lit room (compared to the Canadian average of 63%).
“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,” says Nuno Guerreiro, Regional Manager of Booking.com Canada. “At Booking.com, we believe in individuality and the fact that the perfect stay might look different for everyone. 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.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among 21,500 respondents (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between 14 December 2018 and 14 January 2019.
Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 18,000 employees in 200+ offices in 70 countries worldwide.
With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travelers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 28 million total reported listings, including more than 5.7 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and covers more than 146,000 destinations in 228 countries and territories worldwide.
Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So, whether traveling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal place to stay quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in over 43 languages, any time of the day or night.