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Agency issues guide for ‘responsible’ holiday lettings

One of the largest vacation lettings agencies - Sykes Holiday Cottages - says a survey shows that two thirds of holiday let owners already encourage visitors to spend local, while two in five have connections with local businesses to offer discounts or bookings. 

Now the company has issued a guide for owners to go further in a bid to counter accusations that holiday homes are a drain on local communities, rather than an asset. 

The guide says:


Encourage guests to shop locally 

Holiday homes are often located in small local communities, so making sure guests make use of any small businesses will mean money from visitors is going straight into the local economy. This could be convenience stores, farm shops or delis, as well as independent boutique shops.

You could make a list of the best shops to support, also highlighting which shops will offer home deliveries. You might even consider creating a welcome hamper to introduce guests to the lovely local produce or businesses on offer in the area.

Not only will this prompt them to buy more, but it will also likely lead to positive guest feedback, with small touches often making all the difference.

Offer guests a comprehensive list of things to do

Your guests will likely be new to the area and keen to explore, so making sure they have a guidebook or comprehensive list of attractions and days out is key.

This could include activities like water sport hire, golf, cycle hire, riding schools, but should also cover evenings out like cinema showings and local theatre productions. Ensure that guests also have to hand all opening times and contact details for attractions and bars and restaurants, as in some smaller villages timings can vary.

Having good relationships with some establishments can also provide added value for your guests and create custom for businesses in the area. It might be that your relationship is simply booking guests a table for dinner, or you could also try and ensure your guests can have a discount at key local eateries and attractions.

One of Sykes’ owners, Patricia Atkinson from Barnard Castle, County Durham offers visitors to her holiday let, also in Barnard Castle, discounts to a local adventure company and vouchers for the local pub. That way guests can experience kayaking followed by a pint at a lower rate while it brings more business to the local community – it’s a win win.

Respect the environment and those around you

It’s important that owners ensure their property is let responsibly to encourage guests to respect both the holiday let and the area around them.

Our Holiday Letting Outlook report founds that one of the most common things holiday let owners do to support the local community is encouraging guests to recycle and reduce their energy consumption.

Make sure you provide different bins that are clearly marked so guests can dispose of their litter properly and you could also consider having an energy reading meter so guests can see when their consumption is high.

Use local cleaning services

Thinking outside of what you can do to encourage guests to spend locally, you could also consider ways to ensure you’re supporting local businesses as much as possible. This includes cleaning services, which are essential for many holiday let owners.

First impressions really count for guests, so ensuring your property is sparkling clean is very important.

You might try and do as much of the laundry and cleaning yourself as possible to keep costs down, but when you do need extra help, or other maintenance like painting, window cleaning or gardening, make sure you are giving work to local businesses.

Let your property year-round

To avoid properties lying empty, one of the best things you can do to support the local community is ensure your property is open to guests year-round.

Partnering up with a holiday letting agent, like Sykes Holiday Cottages, can help to ensure your holiday home is booked throughout the year.

As well as helping you maintain your property to a high standard, agencies like Sykes also have years of experience when it comes to marketing to maximise bookings. They will always promote your property online and can offer advice on how to attract more bookings if required.


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