Tips To Making Your Properties Health & Wellness Havens For Guests
How to get your listings ready to welcome wellness warriors
Wellness tourism is having a major moment
Welcome to the world of wellness tourism during COVID-19 — a time when travellers have gained a new awareness for personal health and wellbeing in the midst of uncertainty. With a market that’s projected to reach $919 billion by 2022, adjusting and improving your property management company to keep up with the growing wellness trend is well worth the investment, to say the least.
Wellness tourism is defined by the Global Wellness Institute as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being,” meaning it can include sectors like meditation & mindfulness, healthy cooking, and weight loss retreats, to name only a few. Wellness-related experience bookings shot up by more than 500% from 2017 to 2018, and as the market for wellness tourism continues to expand, so does the range of experiences and amenities offered by property management companies. While COVID-19 has introduced many unexpected challenges to the short-term rental industry, the rise of wellness tourism poses opportunities to expand the offerings on your properties and surrounding areas to meet the needs of today’s ‘new normal’.
Even if you don’t have vacation rentals that boast easy access to nature, a luxury kitchen, scenic hikes or other outdoor activities, there are plenty of effective ways you can transform your short-term rental into a wellness oasis to attract the continuously expanding crowd of travelers looking to improve their overall well-being, during the pandemic and long after the virus is gone. At the end of their stay, your guests will walk away feeling refreshed, re-energized and zenned out, leaving you with great reviews. Consider these excellent options to provide your guests with a break from the overwhelming pressures posed by COVID-19!
Extra! Extra! Write all about it
Based on research by the Global Wellness Institute, wellness travelers are interested in what the destination offers that is unique. The more amenities you can highlight via content, the better. When marketing your property to wellness adventurers, be sure to use keywords on your website and listings that capture this specific audience (think: isolation retreat, sanctuary, detox, etc.). Clearly list the relevant amenities you offer, as well as any nearby nature or wellness experiences in your description. Additionally, be sure to include keywords that emphasize the safety and cleanliness that travellers are looking for during COVID-19. Include these keywords in your listing title as well, making sure to label your properties in a way that lets people know they can book with you and leave feeling healthier than when they arrived.
To further position your properties as ideal stays for wellness travellers, you can also create content around these topics, such as blog posts and social posts. This will not only improve your website’s SEO, but it will also increase your legitimacy in the eyes of potential guests as a true health & wellness destination that will help them achieve a health-conscious trip.
An example of a nice piece of content can be writing a post about a “socially-distanced” hiking retreat you hosted, or the hiking trails around your property (along with their difficulty levels). Packaging this as a blog post that also covers this year’s best, new hiking gear could be relevant for guests. This method will drive plenty of new traffic to your listings, and with an estimated 17 million travelers identifying as being “health and wellbeing focused,” you’ll have no shortage of interested site visitors.
Overall, make sure to focus on what makes your destination stand out. While COVID-19 makes it difficult to visit local restaurants and attend group fitness classes, we recommend incorporating these amenities into your rental offering best you can to differentiate your property from others. By offering virtual workout classes or coupons to local take-out restaurants, you can be sure to spark your guests’ interest in your rental while ensuring their safety won’t be compromised.
Carve out your niche by making the most of what you’ve got
When thinking about the wellness amenities you can add to your listing, it’s essential to consider how you can capitalize on what you already have in and around your property. For example, are there tranquil views to be enjoyed? Play up that perk and invest in some outdoor furniture, or refurbish the deck flooring so that yogis can enjoy their practice next to the sunset. Perhaps invest in a spice garden or colorful hanging plants to make your properties just a tad more ‘instagrammable’ than they already are so guests are inclined to share on their social channels.
If you have a wide outdoor space, incorporate this into your marketing tactics by including pictures and videos of these spaces, as COVID-19 travellers – especially families with young kids – are looking for such spaces so their children can roam and play.
If you have an extra room, consider designating it as a space for fitness equipment and exercise for guests who want to squeeze in a workout without needing to leave your property. With many local gyms and fitness studios closing down during the pandemic, consider purchasing virtual streaming packages from notable fitness giants (Orange Theory Fitness, CorePower Yoga, etc. – with packages starting at $19.99/month) to provide this option free of charge for your guests. Even if a full home gym is not an option, simply investing in some dumbbells, resistance bands and yoga mats makes the perfect setup for health-focused travelers who want to keep up their exercise regime during their stay.
When it comes to the kitchen, appliances and cookware that go beyond the basics – like a blender, air fryer, salad spinner, or slow cooker – are also valuable perks for the health warriors out there who want to prepare their own healthy meals. To go the extra mile, have some nutritious breakfast options on hand that don’t spoil easily – like oats and protein bars. While many guests may not feel comfortable dining-in at restaurants during the pandemic, make sure that your rental has access to local food ordering services to provide guests with healthy dining options delivered straight to their doorstep.
Small touches that set the tone for relaxation can also add to the guest experience, like quality speakers for music, candles for ambiance, and of course high-quality mattresses and bed sheets to ensure a great night sleep. Wellness tourists spend
130% more than the average tourist, meaning they’re looking for a stay that’s as much an experience as it is a place to sleep — and they’re often willing to pay a premium for it.
Think outside your property, too
Once you’ve created a space that will make your guests feel like health gods and goddesses, be sure to explore all of the attractions surrounding your listing as well. Nature reserves or local running and walking paths are fantastic, wellness-oriented activities that will appeal to this traveler persona during the pandemic. Do your research, and use these findings to your advantage by highlighting them in your listings and on your direct booking website.
Prior to your guests arriving, feel free to send them an email with the aforementioned, as well as local health food stores in your area in case they prefer to cook during their stay. While many in-person attractions may be closed during COVID-19, consider partnering up with local tour companies that offer private options to guests (perhaps coupled with a special discount for guests staying at your properties).
For an added level of convenience, consider providing guests with the odds and ends they need to be able to enjoy the outdoor adventures available in your area. Snorkeling masks, bikes, trekking poles and sunscreen are some examples of small items that really enhance the guest experience, allowing travelers to enjoy the nearby attractions to the fullest. Make sure to emphasize the cleanliness and sanitation of these items between each guests’ stay, too.
Ensure your greener guests feel welcome
Health & wellness travelers also include those who are more environmentally-focused. According to Airbnb, 88% of hosts around the world now incorporate eco-friendly practices into their vacation rentals, such as using ‘green’ cleaning products, encouraging recycling, providing bicycles and installing solar panels.
Finishing touches like a recycle or compost bin, canvas shopping bags and environmentally friendly lights can go a long way in the eyes of potential guests who care about the planet and would prefer to stay in a more environmentally-friendly space. Include recycled products, too, like recycled paper rolls and travel water bottles for guests who are conscious about sustainability. Be sure to mention the eco-friendly measures you’ve taken in your listing descriptions. Even something as easy as offering suggestions for ‘green’ transport options, such as your city’s local bike-sharing locations, can do a lot of good for your environment, your community, and of course, your reviews!
Keep the improvements going
With the rise of wellness tourism enticing travelers to book health-focused stays, investing in your listings to appeal to wellness warriors will help you stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure your business thrives as this trend continues to gain momentum. While the short-term travel industry took a hit after the rise of COVID-19, the growing wellness trend poses an excellent way for your property management company to maintain a stable revenue stream and adapt to the changing demands of travelers
Guesty not only provides you with guides like this one to help further elevate your businesses, but also provides property management companies with an end-to-end platform to automate and simplify the daily, complex operational needs of running a short-term rental business. With Guesty, users can manage listings from multiple online travel agencies like Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Agoda, TripAdvisor and more, as well as utilize the company’s time-saving, guest-centric tools such as: Unified Inbox, Automation Tools, 24/7 Guesty Communication Services, Payment Processing and more.