We're hiring a full-stack PHP Developer. Click here for more.

powering tour and activity businesses worldwide

Promote Your Tours to Vacation Rental Hosts (Without Getting Banned)

Tour operators and Airbnb hosts are a great pairing. For tour operators, it’s a chance to get your products in front of an audience of seasoned, engaged travelers. For hosts, it’s a chance to expand welcome packages with trustworthy, tested activities guests might enjoy.

But making that connection can be a challenge. While hosts can be reached through their listings, contacting them for reasons other than reservations is against the terms of most vacation rental sites. Panning through listings for local addresses is another possibility, but it can be a time-consuming slog. If you don’t have time to put in that groundwork, targeting hosts with online ads can be a good alternative.

Facebook is particularly well-suited to reaching Airbnb hosts. 79 percent of all Internet users are on Facebook, peaking with users over the age of 25. Since younger people are far less likely to own vacation rental properties, that’s an ideal demographic. Search ads are an alternative, but they can only reach people who are looking for something specific. On Facebook, you can reach hosts any time they’re online.

Find Your Audience

Buying a Facebook ad may seem like a shot in the dark, but ad targeting can be incredibly specific. That’s important, because the narrower your audience, the less expensive the ad.

  1. Location: Restrict your ad to the local area you serve. Anything beyond that will only increase your ad costs without improving your results.
  2. Age: Hosts are generally older, established property owners, with women over 60 being one of the fastest growing demographics. The average first-time homeowner in the United States is 34, so users under 30 probably aren’t worth increasing your budget.
  3. Interests: General interests you want to target might include “vacation home rentals,” “vacation rentals” and “home business.” Remember, you’re not trying to reach users interested in tours, specifically. Their guests will be your customers, not them.
  4.  Narrow Your Audience: Research vacation rental companies that serve your area. Using the “narrow audience” field, ensure that your audience’s interests must include one of those companies.

Make Your Pitch

Beyond relevance, every successful Facebook ad has three key features:

  1. Striking visuals: A gorgeous, relevant photo will catch Facebook users’ eyes and lead them to look at the rest of an ad. Don’t clutter the visual with a lot of text — save that for the caption.
  2. Personal appeal: What does your audience want? An ad that promises a host’s guests an adventure of a lifetime will interest a host who focuses on their guest experience. Others may be more interested in more direct benefits, like improving their reviews with an adventurous welcome package. Whatever you choose, put the host’s needs before your own and give them some idea of what you’re offering.
  3. Call to Action: Give your audience a strong step forward. “Impress your guests,” or “Improve your reviews” will outperform “Learn more,” any day.

Bring Them Home

Once a host clicks your ad, they’ll be expecting more information on whatever you promised. Don’t waste that by sending them to your website’s home page or a contact form without any more information.

Instead, create a custom landing page on your Rezgo website or company website. Explain what you’re offering, tell them why they should care, and give them an easy way to sign up.

Once you have their interest and their contact information, your ad has done its job. Now it’s time to do yours by following through with your plans to drive bookings from vacation rental guests.

Written by

Nissa Campbell is a writer who covers tourism and technology. Since 2014, she has been documenting booking software at Rezgo, and working with tour operators at all levels of the industry to help them find solutions to their technical needs.

We would love your feedback