How do you handle 'what to see and where to go' requests from guests?

Hi there!

I am interested as host of Airbnb apartment, do you have a lot of requests for recommendations, like ‘what to see and where to go’ from guests? How you handle it?

P.S. I’m actually the founder of travel mobile app Surprise Me. In our service, independent travelers buy self-guided tours and use it with the mobile app at a convenient time. Tours are created by locals and travel experts. And we are researching how recommendations works now and how we can help hosts to earn more

I leave out tourist flyers but when I see that guest are in the city to do site seeing I have a couple of website that provide reduced ticket passes for different events which is really handy. It lists almost all the things people want to do when they visit my city.

I’d love to help you with your commercial research, book a night at my place and I’m all yours :slight_smile:

I’ll even let you off with the cleaning fee.



I love when guests ask for recommendations for my city. I’m not in a tourist town (yet but if the next U.S. president ends up being from here that might change…I digress) so most guests don’t ask. But if they do we have a chat on my front porch, I might pull up some things on my phone to show on a map. Guests who don’t need or want my help are probably using the internet. I also have a few things in my Airbnb and a few on my Airbnb guidebook on the app. But nothing substitutes for a real live conversation with someone, eye to eye. This is included in the price at my Airbnb.


Chambers of Commerce have lots of touristy brochures, whether you’re a member or nor. Get a handful and put them in a book. If you’re in a tourism-driven state like Florida there are numerous local brochures and flyers available for the picking. We have a 3" thick ring-binder full of such stuff in plastic sleeves.

If people query through the system, I’ll give them one or two things and tell them that the book is full of things for them to peruse when they get here.

Then of course we’re always right here for personal info and directions.

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I have booklets and brochures about the bigger attractions in my DC metro area and a house manual I created in a binder with my local recommendations. More than one guest has commented in reviews about how useful the information is.
I would be interested in arrangements with tour companies or attractions where the guest, for example, books online with a code, and they get a discount and I get a referral commission. Just providing access to a discount (such as Goldstar), or a unique touring opportunity, wouldn’t translate to me being able to raise my rates, and I don’t believe it would attract more bookings (guests barely read the listing anyway) so doesn’t interest me.
The only way I believe I would be able to monetize experiences is if there was something extraordinary I could offer personally or on-site, like pet my llamas or work on the Civil War archaeology dig going on in my backyard. I’m just not set up that way.
There have been a lot of business trial balloons submitted for survey or comment on this forum that would “help the host make more money,” but the actual mechanics of how the host would make more money tend to be speculative or vague, falling under the “better guest experience” umbrella. My guests are shopping for certain things – privacy and control of their stay environment; individuality, “homey-ness” or comfort of their stay experience; free parking right next to the door; proximity to airport or public transportation, etc. – and any extra amenities are icing on the cake and not primary objectives for them.
Entrepreneurs could tempt me with cheaper supplies, a really good utterly reliable last-minute on-call cleaning service, or something I could upsell to guests and get a cut of.

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I put together a page on my website entitled Things to Do which covers

  • Art
  • Eating
  • The Outdoors
  • Music
  • Theater
  • The Arts
  • Retail
  • Architecture
  • National Aquarium
  • Escape Rooms
  • Psychics
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I have a laminated booklet on the coffee table with restaurant recommendations, things to do etc so they won’t bother me. I don’t have time!
Of course in this day and age they can use the internet and do their own thing.
@KKC i really hope you are from Vermont!

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LOL. No, other border…El Paso TX.

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I am actually in a big tourist destination area. I think most people who come already have an idea of what they want to do but may be looking for more insight as to local opinions etc. Since every guest is different ai will personalize recommendations- restaurants, events etc- to them. Those who have no idea what they want to do- unless they want to sit and have a converation- I will send a couple links to local event calendars… one will have things like mansion tours and wine tastings while the other may list live entertainment and food festivals

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Depending on what people say in their initial message, I send info and details in my response, particularly as the nearest town is pretty awful but there are lovely places close by. Plus, over high days and holidays, like Easter, people need to book popular restaurants in advance.

Feedback from doing this is good.

I’ve created a notebook. It contains flyers of local attractions, a welcome to neighborhood pages of info about local medical facilities, close by grocery stores, directions to the beach, places to eat I can recommend, & things to do I can recommend. There are an abundance of dining & activity choices but my list includes this disclaimer these are ones I’ve tried.

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I love giving guests my recommendations. And I only recommend places I genuinely like - I want guests to be pleased with the recommendations I give them.

There is also our custom ‘welcome’ book, our online recommendations and a drawer full to the brim with stuff from local tourist places. Another drawer is full of menus from local restaurants and in the kitchen there’s a load of menus from restaurants that deliver.

The local CVB also has an app as do many local attractions/ means of transport etc.

There’s also full information for guests with dogs re. pet friendly restaurants and other info such as dog beaches. (Although our homeowners’ association is being funky about allowing dogs right now).

As most guests fully research the area before they get here, it would be complete overkill to add anything else. The last thing we need is another bloody app idea.

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