You don’t need to be pirate-themed to attract families to your hotel or vacation rental. There are a few simpler steps to getting parents and their cubs through your doors and getting your bookings.
The last year has changed the face of travel. While family travel has always been an enormous segment, last year has made it more prominent as families have come closer through lockdowns and domestic travel is in focus.
As the segment has grown, some key trends have emerged such as multi-generational travel (travelling with grandparents), rise in family travel from the Asian markets and an appetite for affordable getaways. Coming out of the pandemic, this is overlaid by a desire (almost need) for high cleanliness and hygiene standards, as well as flexibility in online bookings.
Let’s look at a few things your property could be doing to attract families; remember you are targeting two personas here – adults and kids.
1. Update your storefront:
Your website and listings on online travel channels or vacation rental aggregators such as Airbnb and VRBO are your shopfronts. It is important to update these and ensure you communicate the message of being a family-friendly property strongly via your digital marketing promotions.
This will help guests who are comparing you to other properties and make an informed decision. Include everything relevant to this segment – babysitting, baby cot, playground access, nearby kid-friendly attractions, etc. Displaying your kid-friendly offers is also important.
2. Create kid-friendly facilities:
Parents are very sensitive to their kids’ need. Create facilities that will win them over. A kids club is a great way for kids to be in a safe and warm environment while the parents nip off for an adult activity while on holiday. Employing staff who are patient and polite with kids is an option.
Another idea is to have an early dinner and lunch service to allow for little guests to be catered for at a time convenient to them. Kid-sized meals and foods enjoyed by little people on the menu are also suggested.
3. Update your in-room amenities:
Little things go a long way in the booking process to influence families in choosing your property such as unlimited Wi-fi, Netflix or similar subscriptions, non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries, etc. Create a kids’ library for books and board games.
4. Be competitive:
Price-conscious families like to compare before they book. Look around your property for what competitors are offering and their communications. If your rooms are larger or more spacious, make sure you highlight them. Compare your amenities and ensure your pricing and offers are competitive. Remember to create offers around the school holidays.
5. Group bookings and discounts:
Many families enjoy travelling in large groups; be it with grandparents or other families. For such scenarios, it makes sense to offer deals for multiple room bookings. Providing interconnecting rooms or organizing parties for special occasions can be quite helpful, too. Hotels should display this information on their websites so that families can plan accordingly.
Families are taking many things into consideration when they travel this summer. With concerns over COVID-19 still looming, what travel looks like and what travellers are looking for in a destination and a hotel have shifted.
As you look to target this lucrative segment, take time to understand them and tailor your offering to them. Use insights from your PMS and channel manager to see which channels are preferred by families and ensure you’re present there.