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The Best Kinds of Real Estate to Convert into Tourist Hubs, Motels, and Inns
Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Browsing the internet recently, I came across an interesting piece of news. It talked about Japan converting old office buildings into hotels for tourists. And that too at a rate lower than what some of the more traditional options in the country would have you pay. A creative development – at managing expense - in a region that is experiencing a tourism boost.

The tourism sector is normally a significant contributor to the socio-economic profile (read: needs) of any country. At the same time, it is also responsible for developing the resources required for managing the influx of tourists – and making the availability of best tourism options a priority. This is where the link between tourism and real estate becomes a prominent concern.

The basic strategies normally proposed in the tourism industry no longer prove adequate (in practical terms) for converting any type of real estate into a tourist attraction. In line with popular tourist demands, we need to be more receptive to travellers’ wishes. This requires some creative thinking – and a great deal of empathy - from those looking to establish tourist-friendly properties. Whether it’s hotel, motels, inns, or bed & breakfast options, or generally any hub for tourists; there are plenty of ways to enhance their hospitality profiles for both beginners and experienced travellers.

The ‘Basic Package’ – and What You Can Do With It

Let’s start with the basics.

When you intend to launch a hospitality business, there are some necessities that you need to meet. You should, as a priority, try to provide all the amenities of living convenience. Things that every tourist wants – and expects.

These issues include offering rooms with comfortable beds, clean bathrooms with a basic set of toiletries, standard meal options, and central heating/air conditioning (depending on the weather conditions). Of course, even with these standard provisions, the more creative mind can play around and ‘engineer’ more novel kinds of conveniences.

Also, you might want to consider turning your hotel into a lodge; if you’re already in the business. These property options mostly offer the same facilities as traditional hotels, and tourists generally like to book them because of their typically lower rates. Even if this is not the case, you might want to cash in on this advantage of perception.

Diversifying, Competing Better – and Accommodating Non-Locals

For attracting tourists from all over the world, your hospitality business needs to go beyond the basics. Beyond what everyone else is offering.

In terms of attracting local visitors, your business can do well with the staple options. But people hailing from more different and foreign backgrounds may have more complicated needs and demands that need catering to.

This is why you need to adopt inclusive and diversified strategies, which also need to be flexible (to meet sudden requirement changes). These could entail offering more non-traditional amenities, and keeping differing choices of food, technologies, and levels of comfort and convenience in mind.

Every business owner understands (or should, at any rate) that you cannot say ‘no’ to a customer!

Becoming Specific – and Catering to Particular Audiences

Diversification does not always mean that your business should be able to accommodate a variety of tourists. It may also entail that you venture into ‘tourism niches’. Many countries share connections of history and heritage with each other – an association which leads them to adopt traditions which cater mutually to their populations. Take, for instance, the case of religious tourism in countries like Rome, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Also consider the issue of Europe delving into the domain of halal holidays and food options.

Catering to specific population groups yields lucrative opportunities for targeting a particular audience. Also, adopting this type of marketing orientation makes your hospitality business stand out. In some cases, you may also not have to deal with much competition. All that is required is a little business common sense, and an ability to gauge potential customer expectations.

Digging for Niches

If you think creatively, you won’t find it hard to find an appropriate niche for your hospitality business. The best way to do this is to think about what people may be seeking for (in terms of expectations) from their traveling experiences these days.

Sometimes, you may be surprised to learn about the types of hotels and inns which tourists normally attempt to locate.

Consider the following cases:

Eco-friendly Tourist Hubs

One of the current trends popular across the world pertains to making peoples lifestyles more eco-friendly. The tourism industry has also increasingly started to cash into it. As a result, it makes a lot of sense to campaign for green tourism these days. A basic precept, found at the core of this industry, is concerned with trying to make the earth a better place for everyone to live in. And given the state of environmental pollution that is mostly present everywhere, adhering to its prescribed lifestyle may turn out well for the greater lot of us!

So how do you become an eco-friendly hospitality business?

The most common way to do so is to introduce more ‘natural serenity’ around your property. For achieving this end, maintaining a lot of lush green spaces is recommended. In case you have a high-rise hotel building, roof-top gardens can make a wonderful addition in this respect.

Try to lessen the use of plastic and inorganic products. You can also accommodate vegan tourists by offering a food menu that is more appealing to their strict culinary requirements.

Of course, such green practices should not only be undertaken by the business in question. Try to create a responsible environment that welcomes tourists to take part. For instance, you can formally request them to lower their total energy usage during their stay. Of course, this will require you to engage them in an instructive orientation process – right before they start their temporary residency.

Pet-friendly Tourist Hubs

Apart from the right environment, many tourists also increasingly seek pet-friendly options. And on the whole, these kinds of visitors may be few, but they are by no means insignificant in terms of the revenue which they bring.

Also, many tourists don’t like to travel without their pets. Oftentimes, leaving them behind is simply not an option. Guide dogs and other service animals are good examples in this case. The good news is that many airlines these days make suitable arrangements for these kinds of situations. But the tourism industry, for the most part, still needs to adapt accordingly.

If you’re farsighted enough, you can can establish a thriving hospitality business in this niche – and generate a lot of friendly goodwill for your brand too.

Family-friendly Tourist Hubs

While solo travel is fast turning into a cultural phenomenon among the globe-trotting community, you (as a business) cannot afford to ignore people travelling in family settings. This latter variety of tourists specifically look for safety, comfort, nearby recreational opportunities, and other kinds of family oriented conveniences for complementing their vacationing spells. In many cases, they might prefer to ditch the regular hotels and inns to look for properties listed for tourists to rent.

In many countries, it is actually easier to manage such kinds of tourist hubs.

South Asian countries like Pakistan and India are great examples, because they already have existing family-oriented cultures. Owners often list their properties on local websites like and the Zameen platform (among others) to attract touring families looking for long-term stays.

To see to this end, it is, of course, important to convert your real estate into a resource meant exclusively for family visits. Ideally, these properties should be located in peaceful areas, which are still close to basic recreational facilities and the urban centre.

Additionally, you should think about offering guides to help visiting families identify and plan for some of the must-see tourist destinations in the area. Published or verbal communications like these are also great for breaking the ice – should any gaps in the two-way rapport come about.

The Marketing Game

To function as a lucrative tourist hub, your hotel or inn needs proper marketing (on an ongoing basis).

Nowadays, tourists have access to a lot of information on staying options located around the world. So it really does matter whether your business is visible to them or not, and delivering a good response to why tourists should choose you.

You can put in all the efforts in the world for turning your property into the best tourist hub available, but these won’t yield any significant results unless you can convince potential travellers to try it.

This is where you need to resort to the marketing game – and play it well. And when it comes to the tourism industry, you have a few flexible mediums at your disposal; for effectively spreading the word.

Create a Website

Developing a decent website nowadays forms a crucial part of any business’s digital marketing strategy. This readily accessible platform serves as a ‘tourist gateway’ into your hospitality service, as well as the exact geographical location(s) which you cater to.

Ideally, you website should be user-friendly and comprehensive; enriched with original and high-quality images. Creative content pieces like blogs, area guides, and weather calendars can also (most definitely) add to its effectiveness.

Additionally, it is often a good idea to make all the content available in different languages.

Advertise Intelligently

A hospitality business seeking international tourists necessarily has to rely on strong advertising. For this purpose, you need to choose your go-to online publicising platforms carefully.

On this front, websites like Trip Advisor and Expedia can prove to be of great help. Tourists from around the world use these sites, and other similar travel platforms, on a regular basis. They search for hotels, resorts, bed & breakfast services, guided tours, lodges, and more. The sites’ Location, Budget, Amenities, and other related filters, help in narrowing down search results.

Campaigns – and Working Them to Your Advantage

Campaigns are the ways in which you practically plan (or structure) your attempts at advertising, and they allow for much creativity when pursued by an expert. For starters, you need to design a campaign which clearly indicates why tourists should choose your services. This can include embellishing them with a catchy phrase or two – of the kinds that easily stick to the tongue. Nowadays, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made it easier to extend these campaigns to a global audience base.

Social media sites also offer a variety of tools for facilitating such business campaigns. These allow you to make videos, stream live video sessions, and post timed 360-degree images to capture audience attention.

Social Influencers/Bloggers – and the Publicity They Bring

Social media also offers a great opportunity of working with influencers and bloggers (who are nowadays considered the publicity/endorsement ‘Kings’ and ‘Queens’ of the virtual world). These individuals (many of them YouTube celebrities) are familiar with the workings of firms that sponsor or conduct paid partnerships with retail brands. Also, they sometimes also happen to work in direct collaboration with businesses operating within the tourism and hospitality industries.

Many video bloggers these days choose to travel around the world, and their land, sea & air expeditions provide a lot of (sometimes bordering on obsession) intrigue to their followers. As a business, you can pitch your services to them so they can represent you positively on their channels.

Similarly, you can also contract the services of international photographers too – for this end.

General Tips for Building an Impressive Hospitality Service

Here are some tips to remember as you go about striving to make your tourist hub successful:

Be welcoming of your diverse sets of tourists

  • Identify new trends that link real estate and tourism (and which you can mould to your benefit)
  • Pitch your services along with your location(s) of operation
  • Live up to your hospitality credentials by offering free local souvenirs
  • Work with business partners that positively add to your service’s productivity
  • Build a solid online and social presence
  • Make international connections to create a global reputation for your business as an ‘idyllic tourism destination’
  • Register your business’s name in all concerned local and international listings

When considered holistically, the strong association between real estate and tourism is undeniable. The availability of living amenities, facilities, and an adherence to good host tourism practices, are all concerns that greatly impact how potential tourists find a certain kind of real estate to stay. This, as mentioned, can be a simple lodge located within a residential community, or a luxury hotel in a popular commercial avenue.

Whatever its real estate category, your visitors’ hub can attain a reputable position in the industry if it appeals to the needs and wants of incoming tourists. A simple issue to grasp – but one which can likely turn out a little complicated in its implementation (if you’re not sure of your way).

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