A Few Strategies For Attracting Traveling Professional Guests
Face it: there are those times when a place needs more guests.
From the smallest BnB to the biggest resort, sometimes occupancy is below standard. If only there were a way to fill those rooms, fill that restaurant, and start hearing that happy sound of guests enjoying the pool.
Your problem is bigger than you realize
Low occupancy can cause some compound problems that you don’t think of, and they come down to scale. One is bad breakfasts — it’s hard to offer a good breakfast if there aren’t many people eating it. Another is extended bookings, since guests aren’t likely to stay longer if a place seems empty and unpopular. And once you find yourself in that position, you may get stuck there: suffering from a lack of guests due to, well — a lack of guests.
Luckily there’s a really cool solution to this problem, and it is a certain kind of guest: the traveling professional.
Traveling professionals are great for a few reasons
This sort of guest is a bit of a “different beast”.
The location-independent professional isn’t on vacation. And since they aren’t on holiday, they don’t have to rush off anywhere. In fact, it is very common that their two-night stay is simply to test your place… and if they like it they may book a few more nights.
And as those additional nights go… the numbers can be big. Like: jackpot. As long-term travelers, they may be entirely comfortable booking a week, a month, or more. The key is making sure your place appeals to their particular interests (which we will get more into in a just a bit).
Probably the biggest reason you want these guests in your place is that they tend to bring a major boost to your online visibility. They live online, and they talk to people — people who might also care to become your guest. Many are “digital natives” meaning that they grew up with the Internet, and thus they have a fluency with it that you may not have. And on that topic of speaking to your desired audience, they may have a certain colloquial style with the languages of your guests, whether that’s English, Chinese, or anything else. (You know how you speak differently with friends than you do at work? Traveling professionals can tap into that on your behalf.)
So, think about it: Many guests stay over for a few nights while on vacation, they leave, and that’s that. Nothing more. This professional crowd is flexible, empowered, and is reaching a wide audience in every moment. These are the guests who are writing reviews for your place to help you gain popularity and appear ahead of your competitors. In some cases they are even writing unique content about you in their travel blogs or articles, boosting your domain authority (DA) and offering more points of entry for your future guests.
How do you spot these guests?
Traveling professionals go by a few names. Location-independent professionals are more and more common. Many call themselves “digital nomads”, though many are looking for a better term to gain popularity… because “nomad” doesn’t quite cut it.
What these great guests have in common is that they are working online, or maintaining some kind of income “from afar”. Whether enjoying work cafés or coworking spaces, you’ll often find them sipping coffee while on their laptops, tapping away at their keyboard. You’ll find them photographing their food. You’ll notice them talking to their phone cameras, and hundreds of followers may be enjoying their video tour — that’s hundreds of potential guests developing awareness of and interest in — you guessed it — your resort or hotel.
Still in love with our “home base” hotel
(From Pavilion Queen’s Bay Krabi)
When Ashley and I first walked into Pavilion Queen’s Bay in Ao Nang, we weren’t even sure if we wanted to live in this part of Thailand.
In fact, we were visiting a number of different towns in Thailand, and considering each as a potential place to settle in and live a few months. So we weren’t going to jump right in and rent a house. We wanted to stay somewhere, ride around and look at the area, and get a feel for things.
We found the Pavilion online and gave it a try. As soon as we walked in, it felt great: beautiful space, really nice people, and a room that was comfortable and inspiring. It was an outstanding place for us, and we extended our stay again and again, staying over a month.
The weird thing is: the place was super empty. There were a few guests that we saw: sometimes at the restaurant, sometimes at the pool… but for the size of the place, we were surprised. The Pavilion could have welcomed a lot more guests, even during the off-season lull.
The Pavilion is an outstanding spot for digital nomads. The Wifi is good, the location is convenient, and the overall feeling is tremendously easy to love. It was easy to imagine that the Pavilion could attract dozens more guests like us, even during low season.
The trouble is knowing where those guests are, and how to attract them.
There’s still time to get in on it
It’s amazing how overlooked this opportunity is. Many places have still not caught on, since the phenomenon is relatively new. Sure, the Internet is nothing new. And the idea of working while traveling already caught on around the time of Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek way back in 2007. But check out this growth going on right now…
(From Google Trends)
Interest in digital nomads has more than doubled in the last couple years, and it’s still on the rise.
Don’t worry about that feeling that you’ve already missed the opportunity. There is still a lot of growth, and a lots of potential. But like anything new, you’ve got to act soon to take advantage in time.
Examples of appealing to the nomad crowd
You can learn a lot from the places that are already appealing to digital nomads and traveling professionals: resorts and hotels.
There are a few examples that you might draw inspiration from:
The Mojo Nomad Programme is tailored to attract nomads — Ovolo Hotels simply engineered their landing page to appeal to this great bunch of guests, and they have enjoyed a vibrant boost as a result.
At TBEX Asia 2015, the event made great use of all the travel writers who came together in one place. Dozens of hotels offered their hospitality, knowing that travel writers have a knack for reaching a vast crowd of potential guests, and increasing visibility in organic search and social media.
Le Méridien regularly hosts events like TEDxChiangMai, knowing that it attracts a wide array of professionals to discuss world-changing ideas worth spreading. (Affiliate link)
Short-term fix and long-term solution
Here’s something cool. You can attract nomads almost immediately, and start enjoying the benefits right away. And as you do, you can build a reputation and audience for long-term growth.
What do digital nomads care about?
As you can probably tell, there are a few things that are particularly important to traveling professionals. Obviously good, fast Internet is a major element, and accessible power outlets for staying charged up. But other things may not be as obvious (like really good coffee) and some things might seem difficult to create (like an inspiring community).
To help you with your first steps, we’ve created a checklist of items that are pretty essential for appealing to digital nomads, and it will be a great guide for getting started.
Glad to help!
It’s a delight to share these insights! When we help hotels and resorts around the world, our consultations are very eye-opening, and we are often amazed at what a difference some simple changes can make.
And on that note, totally reach out to us if you have further questions on this stuff. We love to help!
Of course you can leave a comment below to share your own thoughts on how resorts and hotels can attract digital nomads… and why!