Ever wonder what makes guests book an Experience? Or what keeps them coming back?
The Airbnb Experiences team recently interviewed 150 travelers, gathering incredible insights into what drives guests to book experiences and what inspires them to leave 5-star reviews. We’ll use these insights to help improve how we market Airbnb Experiences to new guests and update the Airbnb website—with the goal of driving more bookings your way. Many of these guests’ insights and tips might also help you boost your own bookings! Read on to understand guests’ motivations for booking and leaving 5-star reviews.
1. Guests want as many details as possible
We’ve found guests sometimes still have questions after reviewing an experience page. When looking to book, guests were attracted to photos that clearly showed the activity they would participate in. Guests were also attracted to landmarks in the background of these active shots, especially when used as the first photo.
A clear, illustrative title and description can help clarify the activity the guests will participate in. Use your photos and titles to also highlight the unique access you’ll provide your guests and demonstrate that you are a local expert they want to hang out with.
Here are three examples of titles guests were drawn to:
Walking tour of London streets with an economist
Paella in the most beautiful terrace
Songwriting with a platinum producer
These titles are descriptive and also highlight the host’s expertise in a subject matter or access to a special place.
2. Last-minute travelers want to book your experience
During recent research sessions we noticed many travelers wanted book an experience while on their trip, often interested in booking that day or evening. While some guests do plan in advance, many guests book same-day activities.
Did you know travel industry trend reports show the majority of travelers look for tours and activities offered on the same day? Some hosts have reported that reducing booking cut-off times can help increase bookings.
3. Guests want to feel taken care of, even before the experience starts
The time leading up to the start of an experience can be especially important for guests. Send a message to your guests before the start of an experience, sharing what to expect, clear meeting point details, and transportation suggestions to help the experience start off right. The more thorough you are, the more confident your guests will feel before they even arrive.
“For most of our experiences the host will send you some messages and some tips before you go into the experience, like three days before. That makes me feel safe because I feel like I’ve been taken care of and the hosts know I’m going to the experience.” – Teagan, Airbnb Experiences guest
Guests are often navigating new cities, and finding their way around can be stressful. An easy-to-find meeting place helps the Experience start on a positive note.
Guests also appreciate when they arrive to the meeting point and the host is there to greet them, so try to arrive early to your meeting location. Many also appreciate when an experience ends on time. Since some guests may have plans directly after, it’s helpful when a host notes the official end time of the experience and assures their guests that if they have to leave they can do so.
5. Guests are looking for unique experiences
Guests saw Airbnb Experiences as more unique than other typical tourist activities. They love that Airbnb Experiences offer them access to local culture they couldn’t otherwise experience. Let potential guests know how they couldn’t replicate this experience without you as the host. To encourage more 5-star reviews, make sure you’re experience gives special access that a guest couldn’t recreate on their own.
6. Guests enjoy the flexibility and intimacy of small groups
Guests found that small group sizes on experiences made them feel special and helped them meet new people. Consider building moments into your experience that get your guests to interact with each other and get to know each other better. Ice-breakers and introductions at the beginning of the experience can help your guests connect with one another. Suggesting your guests work together on an activity or challenge during your experience can also help them connect.
“I like to travel alone, but being alone all the way when you’re traveling, it’s kind of boring. You need to have jokes and fun tales to tell, and sometimes some pictures, someone to take pictures, too.” – Katharine, Airbnb Experiences guest
In addition to small group size, guests also loved that many hosts were flexible and tailored parts of the experience to the group. Some hosts ask their guests if there is anything particular they’d like to see, learn, or do on the experience and try to accommodate these requests.
Ready to see an experience from the eyes of a guest? Learn more about the state of mind of Experience guests far from home and what makes them feel as if they can truly belong in this guest perspective video.