Earlier this week Airbnb joined the Mayor of London at City Hall to reveal the findings of a new report that details transforming nature of tourism in the capital. John Bower highlights the key points, and how they apply to every host - wherever you are based.
It’s official - your guests want your local recommendations. According to a report released by Airbnb on Monday, 85% of guests choose Airbnb to live like a local.
The data also shows that nearly 80% of guests surveyed said they use Airbnb to explore a specific neighbourhood. This isn’t limited to central London; some of the city’s outer boroughs are the fastest growing, with Havering- (161%), Hillingdon (159%) and Barnet (140%) showing the highest increase in guest stays.
Airbnb joined the Mayor of London at City Hall as part of a wider initiative, aimed at attracting more ‘cultural tourists’ to London.
“As more tourists seek out the new, the idiosyncratic, the hidden, the local, it is important to stay ahead of the game and capitalise on their desire to explore the lesser known gems London has to offer.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Checklist for making local recommendations
You don’t have to be a local expert to start making suggestions. By asking a couple of probing questions, you can glean enough information to identify and recommend a place that perfectly matches their personality:
- What is your favourite kind of food? Are you vegetarian?
- Are you interested in the history of [London]? Do you know where to find all of the main attractions?
Taking their answers you can quickly assemble a short-list of suggestions that will make their stay truly memorable. Looking for something specific? Add my email to your contacts and let me know: email@example.com
“But what if the restaurant I recommended has changed hands? It will reflect badly on me.” Intent trumps accuracy every time. The most important thing is making your guests feel that they have been listened to; great recommendations rely on actively listening to the needs and wants of each individual guest.
Your guests will do their own research, too. By sending links using a service like Pearlshare, they can read through the most recent comments and information online and make a decision for themselves - by providing links to information, the responsibility ultimately lies with them.
Make the perfect recommendation, every time:
- Start by pick ing some of your own local favourites, then cast the net a little wider - taking recommendations from friends and family. This is an opportunity to connect with your guests; your personality is reflected in the places that you recommend.
- Tailor your recommendations to individual guests. Take advice from Chip Conley - ask questions before they arrive so that you can surprise them with a list of local places tailored just for them (e.g. vegetarian cafes).
- Help them avoid tourist traps. As the suburbs of London continue to prosper, it is revealed that nearly 80% of guests use Airbnb to explore a specific neighbourhood - so there is an opportunity to give them a head start.
What are hosts in London recommending?
The report revealed that 55% of guests visit local businesses based on host recommendations.
What London Hosts are recommending on Pearlshare:
- “One of my favourites. Watch out for great exhibitions. Worth a membership”. The Victoria & Albert Museum, recommended by Phyllis
- “A good British restaurant. Odd arrival through old Great Northern Hotel stairs. Slightly slow service but a good quiet restaurant”. Plum and Spilt Milk, recommended by Pete
- “The interior of the Electric references the cinema’s long history with leather sofas, as well as tables for food. Perfect place for a romantic meal.”. Electric Cinema, recommended by Franck
- “Amazing Italian food in a fabulous place with walls covered by Vintage photos by Terry Oneil and others”. Como Lario, recommended by Sara
- “Wonderful fresh fish with good wild catch selection and great smoked salmon which is smoked on site…”. Walter Purkis & Sons, recommended by Mattie
- “Great steaks in Canary Wharf”. Goodman, recommended by Johan
- “A must try off Regents Street”. Shoryu Ramen, recommended by Alexandra