Once, vacationers moved in pairs or families almost exclusively. Only those in the business class travelled alone frequently, and even a few decades ago, it was relatively uncommon to see solo travellers making their way across the United States or Europe.
Today? Not so much. Single guests account for a significant portion of room bookings, from wedding-goers to family reunion attendees, to those who simply like an excuse to keep their own counsel once in a while.
Obviously, this presents a huge B&B marketing opportunity. If you’d like to encourage more solo travellers to visit your institution, it’s time to drum up a strategy to bring them in.
Here are five great ways to do it:
Target them on social media
Driving people to your rooms could be as simple as selling the solo lifestyle through social media. The millennial group, which loves to jetset alone, will be especially responsive to tongue-in-cheek online hooks. Think “Don’t have a date to the wedding? Find one at our cosy Saturday brunch!” or “Looking for a hobbit hole for one? Book a room with us!”
Use solo traveller imagery on your site
If you plaster the standard ‘smiling family on a beach’ image all over your website, you’re not going to attract those singles you crave. Instead, use imagery of people enjoying their alone time: reading by a pool alone, hiking a scenic trail alone, receiving room service alone. Keyword here is; alone.
Offer community resources
While adventuring solo is great, that doesn’t mean the adventurer never wants any company. Put together a room pamphlet or activities to do in the area, so your guest can skim the list as soon as they show up. Better yet, send them an email package so they can get excited ahead of time.
Make a small world smaller
Host activities within your hotel as well. Your B&B attracts those who are looking for a simple, rustic lifestyle, with a taste of hearth and home (but away from the demands of hearth and home). Fill those homely urges with homemade treats, Scrabble and puzzle nights, and little social gatherings on the weekend.
Reassure them about alone time
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the socialites are those who come on vacation alone to truly be alone. Before they book with you, they may need some reassurance that they won’t have to spend all those precious vacation days in the presence of strangers. Highlight the privacy of your amenities, such as booking a spa date, spending time in the nature preserve or the least-packed breakfast times. Introverts will thank you for it.
If you feel a little daunted by this list, relax. There’s no need to jump right into all of these strategies at once. Instead, try them one by one. See what sticks, adjust and improve, and analyse your bookings as a result. You might be surprised to find that catering to the solo traveller builds your business in ways you never realised.