What makes a perfect host?

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The role of the host makes a significant impact on a guest’s experience on many levels. In a recent survey we asked global travellers what they expect from accommodation owners and how past experiences influence their next booking decision

Hosting is a bit of an art form, combining professional skill with personal attention and local expertise - at the same time as adapting to the ever-changing needs of your guests. Recent research found that almost two-thirds of global travellers (63%) feel their stay has been improved by their host going above and beyond, and more than half have returned to the same accommodation because of that relationship.

But what makes a great host? For some guests it’s as simple as a warm welcome - three-quarters of travellers expect to meet someone friendly on arrival while 66% want their host to make them feel at home. In line with the popular desire to live like a local, guests increasingly look for a host that will share insider knowledge on the destination (62% of respondents) - this knowledge influences nearly half of travellers’ holiday budget considerations, with 45% hoping for tips that will help them save money and avoid tourist pitfalls.

Understanding the boundaries is key. While 44% of travellers hope to join their host at social occasions like parties, over half prefer to keep the relationship transactional with 52% only needing to see their host once during their stay to feel welcome. But making this understanding more complex is the fact that 69% of travellers believe that hosts should intuitively know the right amount of time to spend with their guests - so listening to your guests needs and establishing good communication is a must.

For some guests it’s as simple as a warm welcome - three-quarters of travellers expect to meet someone friendly on arrival while 66% want their host to make them feel at home.

And exactly how you engage during the stay can take some adaptation too. For guests from India, Colombia and Brazil great service aligns with making sure guests are well fed, those from Thailand and China favour entertainment while Italian guests appreciate atmospheric touches like a candle-lit room or a crackling fire. Offering added extras can also make a big difference; tea, coffee and edible treats help nearly half (45%) feel at home.

When you meet these expectations it’s undoubtedly a recipe for success, leading to great guest reviews which can influence further custom. To learn more about how you can boost your review score - from top hosting skills through to the ancillary services you offer - head to Click. to get some insider tips.


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Research overview

  • Research was commissioned by and independently conducted among 21,500 respondents
  • Survey group included 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel
  • Respondents completed an online survey between 14 December 2018 and 14 January 2019