The Traveller Review Award winners for 2021 have been announced, and the partner community is buzzing with congratulations, high fives and shout outs. Partners have also been getting the word out about their win on Twitter and Instagram, tagging their posts with #TravellerReviewAwards2021. We’ve collected some of our favourite tips from the Partner Community to uncover specific things winning partners do to help them keep their review score high.
“Hospitality begins from the moment I receive reservations. The immediate message saying thanks and welcome for the reservation; the message for detailed directions before arrival; the personal meet and greet; the feast; the after-dinner drink; the exchange of information; the departure meal or drink; the farewell gift; the message after departure thanking them for a great experience and wishing for their safe return.” - Maria Adamopoulou Maria puts an emphasis on thoughtful communication throughout the guest journey, which can have an enormous impact on the guest experience and boost engagement. Some partners put together FAQs or useful tips about the property ahead of time, while others like Maria aim for one-on-one attention by doing things like thanking guests personally at their departure, which is an excellent opportunity to get immediate feedback.
“We all know guests like extras, and we always give our guests extra. We put small chocolates on the pillows, a fresh flower from our garden in the bathroom and offer a welcome drink. On summer evenings, we sometimes have a BBQ with guests in our big garden.” - Haris Schildhauer Travellers value the experience a property can give them and providing small personal touches can make their stay memorable. For property owners, this can offer a high return on a relatively small investment.
“We have homemade cookies, muesli and jams in their studio together with personalised toiletries placed on their towels.” - Jenny Elliott One detail really stands out from partner conversations around the TRA: small welcome packages can have a big impact and help guests feel at home. Offering personalised items like toiletries can be a unique way to provide a memorable souvenir of a trip.
“I always switch on the TV on either a nature channel, which fits with the theme of our listing, or soothing and relaxing music. We switch on ambience lighting when a guest arrives after dark. I keep a few notes about our returning guests. It helps a lot for those small but important little extras they prefer. - Andre Knipe There’s a lot to be said for creating a unique ambience for your property. Research has shown 75% of guests like to hear music in the lobbies, bars, restaurants and public spaces of a property and even smell or colour can be powerful ways to evoke emotion. Keeping a log of guest preferences also shows commitment. Who wouldn’t want to come back when the partner remembers your previous stay so clearly?
“We set a goal of providing one moment of value each day to a guest: an insider tip for a great hideaway location, a beach or forest walk or three restaurant options. We try to balance our hospitality with providing personal space. It’s a fine line between showing that you're interested and giving guests room to just ‘be’.” - Jerry McLean Providing local tips based on your guests' interests can show them that you're invested in their overall experience and make their stay hassle-free. You can provide suggestions in person, print them out or even send them to guests prior to their stay as a downloadable PDF.
“We follow one big rule: be one step ahead of our guests, providing services they require before they even ask. The best [reward] is seeing so many of our guests coming back year after year.” - Palatia Village Apartments It may not be possible to anticipate every guest need, but you can be prepared by communicating with them before their stay. Sending guests an optional pre-stay questionnaire is a proactive way to let them know that their happiness is top of mind.
"Keeping guests happy is the most important priority and making sure that they know they can contact us at any time. We also put enough details on our link for holiday makers to enjoy what they see and read." - Helen Bewley Being thorough about listing the amenities and services you offer is important, but it doesn’t all have to be done in your property listing. You can enhance a reputation for responsiveness by using built-in messaging tools at key touchpoints - and many partners do. Over 25% of messages partners send to guests use scheduled templates, and over 30% of responses by partners are automatic replies.
Many thanks go out to all of the partners who went above and beyond to please their guests during a very difficult year. We hope you’ll proudly display your Traveller Review Award throughout 2021.
- TRA winners from the Partner Community share strategies and tactics that raise review scores and keep guests coming back
- Some short-term vacation rental owners with one or two rooms rely heavily on providing an atmosphere of family belonging that include things like inviting guests to informal backyard BBQs
- Some partners focus on providing unique extras to surprise and delight guests at check-in with welcome drinks, homemade cookies and even personalised toiletries
- Communication is the key to happiness for some partners, many of whom use built-in messaging tools for automated responses at key touchpoints.