Air BnB is taking the world by storm and changing how we view hotels and the tourism industry in general. When speaking with travellers who have used the service, most will tell you they’ve had great experiences; staying in a home or with a family allows them to get an enriched feel for the city they’re visiting, the “pulse” of their surroundings, and helps them to feel like they’re truly immersed in the local culture.

Those who have had less than stellar stays, however, report one thing above everything else: read the reviews on AirBnB.com, and take them seriously! It’s true, some people are Debbie Downers who will never be happy with anything, and any online review needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

So how can you maximize your chances of being chosen by in-bound tourists? With over 300 listings available in Vancouver, it’s important to stand out and get yourself noticed, so those positive reviews will start rolling in!

Of course a beautifully laid out suite with velvety soft bedding and fluffy white towels is a good start, but there are many other factors to consider when setting up an Air BnB suite:

  • A welcome package: coffee and tea are a nice touch in any suite, but consider choosing beans from a local roaster in order to bring interest to Vancouver’s incredible small business community. If your suite has a kitchen, stock the fridge with local beer and include information about the brewery, in case your guests want to experience a tasting or go on a brewery crawl. East Vancouver, for example, boasts several breweries within walking distance from one another – and more importantly, very close to a major bus route on Hastings!
  • Unique tourism info: brochures and fliers abound at all major ports of travel, so how can visitors to our gorgeous city know where to begin exploring? Consider creating a set of binders, folders or duotangs with differing kinds of tourist info for your guests. The heavy hitters firstly: provide info on what’s happening at our better known sights such such as Science World, Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium or Capilano Suspension Bridge, as well as showcasing tours like the Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley tour company. Then suggest our lesser known spots, such as the Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, English Bay or Deep Cove and the North Shore mountains, and include contact info on unique tour groups such as Forbidden Vancouver. Follow up with local flavour, places you love to visit in your own neighbourhood that your guests would never know of otherwise, such as small art galleries, neighbourhood parks and your favourite cafe. If any festivals or fairs are going on while you have guests be sure to include that info too; you’ll be amazed at what you discovering about your own ‘hood!
  • Restaurants and cafes: food! Who doesn’t love to try unique local eateries when traveling? Granted Canada doesn’t necessarily have a national cuisine – okay, poutine counts! – but our fair city has its share of gastronomical gems. Consider providing a list of nearby restaurants based on price and meal type, so your guests can splurge one night on a fancy multi-course meal, then save on a greasy spoon breakfast the next morning!

Air BnB is a unique way to make some extra money, as well as an opportunity to meet people from around the world and share our beautiful city with them. The Flow Team is happy to provide consultation services to help you set up a peaceful retreat for your international guests. Contact us today for more information!

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