Holiday Home Services – Emerging Trends
As the credit crunch bites, holiday home owners and other tourism providers in the UK are trying to predict what the future has in store for the sector.Research studies show that in the face of financial pressure and economic uncertainty, UK consumers are unwilling to sacrifice their main annual holiday, although they are likely to take less additional short breaks across the year.Research quoted by South West Tourism indicates that there are two key trends emerging as the tourism market polarises. Half of UK holidaymakers say that they will be looking to reduce their overall spend and will either trade down in the standard of the hotel or holiday home accommodation they select or reduce the number of days their holiday lasts – opting for example for a break of 7 or 10 days instead of the usual 14. This is a trend that is also being reported by package tour operators serving the UK market.However, the other half of UK holidaymakers say that they do not intend to trade down or compromise on quality although they will be looking for additional value for money in making their choice of hotel or holiday home.Property management companies report that in assessing what constitutes value for money, customers not necessarily looking for cash savings. Instead they are looking for additional ‘bang for their buck’ – additional features or services that they think will add to their overall enjoyment of the experience. This kind of additional service will become more and more of a competitive discriminator, making certain holiday homes stand out from the pack.Holiday homes service specialist companies and travel concierge services are emerging in order to meet the demands for added value services of this kind. This could include, for example, the supply of a chef at the holiday home either for the entire stay or for only one evening according to the wishes of the guest. This is a specialist service which is fast growing in popularity.It could also include arranging activities for guests and generally acting as a holiday concierge, able to respond promptly and efficiently to any customer needs, including providing itineraries, making travel arrangements or restaurant bookings, arranging leisure activities, pampering, sourcing local products, grocery shopping and so on. In fact, today’s holiday homes services specialist is totally customer-centric and will set out to satisfy just about any customer whim or demand.Holiday homes that provide this level of service as an ad hoc additional benefit to their guests are clearly at a competitive advantage to those that do not. As customers become increasingly demanding in a competitive market, the breadth of additional features and services available to those who rent holiday homes will continue to grow, limited only by the imagination and resourcefulness of the holiday homes services specialist.