Given the current political climate, I was surprised to learn that inbound international tourism to the United States isn’t just growing; it’s skyrocketing. According to a recent Skift article citing a National Travel & Tourism Office report, “International travelers spent $20.8 billion on travel to and within the United States in April, more than a three percent increase over April 2016” and, “The first four months of 2017 are the highest for foreign tourism spending on record.”
That’s great news for anybody who works in hospitality, and it opens the door to an emerging market for anyone lucky enough to have a few truly premium vacation rentals in their portfolio.
High Income Travelers Opt for Vacation Rentals Over Hotels
According to a 2017 YouGov Affluent Perspective report on the vacation rental industry, an increasing number of high-income international travelers are opting for vacation rentals over hotels. Nearly 60% of affluent travelers from the Middle East, where Millennials make up 50% of the wealthiest individuals, have stayed in a vacation rental in the past year. Coming in a close second, 50% of Europe’s wealthiest travelers reported staying in a vacation rental in the past year—with a whopping average stay of 12 nights.
As more international travelers pour into the United States, it’s not surprising to learn that the younger and wealthier among them are avoiding hotels. In YouGov’s study, nearly three quarters of the world’s global affluent reported that they find premium hotel experiences to be more similar than different. The world’s wealthiest travelers don’t want to be bored. In addition, respondents reported that they prefer vacation rentals because they offer more space (44%), more privacy (37%), and better location (31%).
An Increase in Medical Tourism
The global elite travel whenever they want, for whatever reasons they want. One of those reasons is medical tourism, when patients travel for operations and procedures they don’t want performed by doctors in their native country. In April of this year, spending related to medical tourism in the United States shot up more than 9 percent year-over-year. If you’re a wealthy patient recovering from an appendectomy, would you rather rest up in some hotel room or in the comfort of a vacation home, where your caretakers can cook in a private kitchen while you enjoy a view of the beach?
Regardless where in the world you operate, make sure your marketing strategy considers international guests. You might just hook a big fish who falls in love with your property and gives it the golden Instagram share.
What’s your plan to profit from increased foreign tourism?
Leave your thoughts below!