According to Booking.com research*, the top worry of travellers is “being in an unsafe environment”, followed by fears of theft. The study queried travellers from 29 markets around the world to explore their motivations, worries, habits and preferences, both when travelling and when seeking out accommodations.
In line with that top worry, respondents to the survey also placed “personal safety” at the top of a list of 24 factors that impact their choice of a destination. The results of the data highlight the importance of not just preparing a property for guests with safety in mind but promoting the safety and security options your property offers.
Safety signals in your property listing
Given that there may be dozens, if not hundreds, of properties in your area, the details you include in your listing can make a difference for safety-minded travellers. If your property is often visited by families with kids, indicating the presence of baby safety gates or kids’ outdoor play equipment in your listing can position you to not only attract more of those kinds of guests, it can demonstrate how you’ve tailored your property with safety in mind.
In addition to checking the facilities and amenities partners offer, guests pay attention to guest reviews. Wouldn’t it be ideal if a traveller could read an objective review from a guest promoting how safe they felt while staying at your property? While you can’t influence a review after the fact, you can influence the experience that leads to the review. Creating the right environment - installing an outdoor security system with motion detectors and indicating it in the extranet - could lead to such a happy outcome.
Putting your card on the table
After they book, safety is less of a concern because guests feel like they can control or prevent risk by taking precautions, although they may not prepare in any meaningful way. Thus, anxiety can be triggered when things go wrong. This is where a safety card can be a lifesaver.
“Some partners provide reusable safety cards on their property with key emergency contact information for a nearby hospital, pharmacy, or police station,” says Tiago Moreiras, Senior Product Manager at Booking.com. “If you have a first aid or emergency kit available on your property, include that information on your safety card so guests can quickly find it.”
Security cameras: red flag or peace of mind?
The top concerns of guests revolve around privacy, especially if it’s a shared space. The presence of cameras is of particular concern for guests, although that does not mean cameras are always seen as a negative. Outdoor security cameras can increase a guest’s feeling of safety, in addition to soothing fears of theft.
“Just as partners can indicate on the extranet if there are safety-related devices at their property like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, from a privacy perspective they can also indicate if there are cameras inside our outside the property,” notes Moreiras.
Above and beyond indicating the presence of such devices, you should be aware of any laws that apply to your area. For example, placing a camera where people have an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom or bedroom, is illegal in most countries.
While you can’t anticipate every traveller worry, there is a cure for nearly all generalised fears of the unknown: more information. Updating the Facilities and Services section of the extranet to emphasise safety in your property listing, providing a safety card with emergency information and indicating security options your property offers are all ways to ease worries and promote a safe experience for guests.
* Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a trip in the last 12 months / planned to take a trip in the next 12 months. Sample comprised <3,000 from the US, <2000 each from Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, India and China. Respondents completed an online survey between September and October 2019.
- Booking.com research identifies “being in an unsafe environment” as the top traveller worry and identifies safety as a top concern of travellers when choosing a destination
- Indicating safety and security details in the Facilities and Services section of the extranet can send positive signals to safety-minded travellers
- Proactive partners often provide safety cards in their property with emergency contacts and first-aid kit information
- It is particularly important to be transparent about the presence of security cameras at your property