After a tough few years for the travel industry, foreign travel is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer due to the rise in consumer confidence.
However, several airlines and airports are struggling with the 'summer holiday boom', as several reports have shown passengers in distress, having to deal with cancelled or missed flights due to staff shortages – something experts say is likely to continue.
But while this isn’t good news to those who have made foreign summer travel plans, it could be for holiday homeowners, who lately have received more interest from Brits looking to avoid the travel chaos by opting for domestic staycations instead.
So, how can holiday homeowners ensure they’re up to the challenge of competing with foreign holidays?
Know your target audience
To ensure you’re getting the most out of the busiest time of the year, ensure that you have appropriately identified who your property is best suited for. If you’re not quite sure yet, consider the type of people who holiday in its location and the local attractions.
For example, if your home is near the beach and close to family-friendly attractions, it will likely appeal to families. So, while you don’t want to discount any guests, this is the primary audience you should be looking to accommodate with furnishings, amenities, and trip recommendations.
Once you’ve got an idea of who your customer is and have made the practical and aesthetic decisions which make your holiday home attractive to them, get marketing it to show it off and watch the bookings roll in.
Get the price right
As the number of holiday homes continues to rise, and the more Brits opt for staycations, the UK travel market becomes more competitive. Where prices of domestic holidays used to be cheaper than foreign trips, recent statistics suggest some staycations are more expensive than going on holiday in Europe.
To attract more guests and beat the competition, property owners must research what prices their competitors are charging and their deals and packages. The research will allow them to better their understanding of the market and what customers are willing to pay - and spot tactics that could put them ahead.
With everyone's pockets a bit empty amid the cost-of-living crisis, people might be looking for something more affordable and be more flexible with the dates they wish to go on holiday. So, offering midweek or off-peak deals is always a good idea likely to make your holiday home a popular choice. And while prices will always be higher during the summer season and school holidays, consider offering discounts for bigger groups or for longer stays of two or more weeks.
Don't be tempted to undercut everyone else, though - as it could make your holiday home look cheap, leave you with less money for utilities or maintenance and dissuade guests if you do ever have to raise the price to meet normal levels.
Making sure your property seems good value for money and offers flexible booking solutions that are harder to find with foreign travel is vital to attracting guests this summer.
Go above and beyond
Going on holiday should always feel like a break from reality. Your job as a holiday homeowner should not only be to provide the perfect location but make the experience as enjoyable as possible too by offering something you couldn't get outside of the UK.
From the minute your guests walk through the door, they should have a welcome pack full of information about your property and its location, things to do and places to see. It should be clean and well maintained, with plenty of amenities and equipment to use during their stay. And knowing they have a point of contact available to assist them with any requests or concerns throughout puts their minds at ease.
Plus, having one-of-kind features such as a wood-burning fire, a hot tub, or an outdoor dining area with a view make your place even more desirable and are things you wouldn’t necessarily get in a foreign holiday let.
While adding finishing touches might seem like extra work, these make you stand out from the crowd and make your guests' lives easier - helping you achieve good reviews and maximise those bookings.
Harry Roberts is the managing director of My Favourite Cottages