Many Travelers Prefer Guidebooks! What That Means For Your Marketing

Amy Sept —  November 12, 2013

"Travel bag" on flickr, by Monterey Public Library (CC BY 2.0)There’s no question that online marketing matters when promoting your vacation rental; Google’s report, “The Traveler’s Road to Decision,” found that the vast majority of business and leisure travelers plan their trips online using search engines, websites, online agencies and other channels to get information and make reservations.

However, it seems that many travelers still prefer a good printed guidebook.

According to the “World Travel Market 2013 Industry Report,” more than half of UK travelers (59%) referenced a printed guidebook during their travels this summer.

Personal recommendations and other online resources still rank high. However, in the middle of the move to digital, it’s a good reminder not to forget the folks who prefer paper.

Including books in your marketing, customer service

Incorporating printed guidebooks into your marketing and customer service takes little more than a bit of research, set up, and perhaps a skim of titles at your favorite bookstore.

  • Know the guidebooks for your area. There may be many options available that highlight the best your region has to offer, or there may be very few books available. Familiarize yourself with what’s available.
  • Whittle the list for your book-loving guests. If there’s a wide range of books available for people visiting your area, narrow the search with a few recommendations. What are the best guides for the type of visitor most likely to visit your property (i.e. families, business travelers, etc.)? Compile a short list and share it on your website.
  • Get listed. Check the guides you find in your search for instructions on getting listed, or contact the organizations that produce the guides. If they’re locally produced (i.e. tourism organization or chamber of commerce), it may be a matter of paying a fee or joining as a member.
  • Tell your guests how to get copies. Some local or state-level organizations will mail travel information for free—or for a small fee—to anyone who requests it. Is this available for your area? If so, make sure to include the contact details in the information you provide to your guests, so they’ll know how to access it if they’re interested.
  • Have guides on-hand at your vacation rental. Once you’ve decided which guidebooks and materials will be helpful to your guests, have copies on-hand for their reference. This can include your local guide, if it’s in a printable format! If they’re free publications, you can often request multiple copies so you can provide a fresh copy to each guest.

What’s your go-to reference when it comes to your own travel planning? Share your recommendations in the comments below.

photo by Monterey Public Library

Amy Sept

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Writer and marketing pro Amy Sept is a regular contributor to the MyVR blog, to help answer your vacation rental marketing questions. Say hello via Twitter or Google+.
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