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Vacation Rental for the Leisure Travel Market

  • 2016-10-21

Much like short term rental for business travellers has its own set of requirements, vacation rental for leisure travellers also has specific requirements. The leisure travel market is a diverse group that incorporates a number of different traveller types. There are the families, who travel with children of varying ages (and sometimes grandparents as well). There are the solo travellers, who are exploring the world on their own. Then there are the couples, who are celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or even a destination wedding. There are also the groups of friends planning a much-needed escape, bachelor weekend or hen weekend. The over 60 ‘just retired’ group also makes up part of the broader leisure market, while the fresh out of high school ‘just graduated’ group also falls within this market.

Holiday Rental for Leisure Travel Market

Needless to say, the diverse travellers within the leisure sector typically result in a diversity of vacation rental requirements.  What one group looks for in accommodation is not what another group may require. There are often very specific requirements for each group. With that said, there are many requirements that almost all groups within the leisure market seek. Understanding those requirements will help you position and prepare your vacation rental for leisure travel.

Vacation Rental for Leisure Travellers

What exactly does the leisure market look for when choosing vacation rental? From location to facilities, this market is one of the most competitive. Luckily, it is also one of the most diverse, catering to a huge variety of property types. Vacation rental requirements for the leisure market often includes the following:

  • Location. This is one of the biggest influencing factors for leisure travellers who are searching for accommodation. Popular areas such as Camps Bay, the Waterfront and the City Centre are always in high demand in Cape Town, for good reason. These areas are where most of the major attractions are found. Holidaymakers want to be close to beaches, museums, restaurants, galleries, shops and other landmarks. In some cases however, leisure visitors may want to be close to attractions while still enjoying some peace and quiet. Honeymooners and couples often seek out villas and apartments that are a bit off the beaten track, in order to enjoy more privacy. If your property lies out of the central areas, you could use the quieter location to your advantage by targeting visitors who are seeking a quiet, tranquil destination.
  • Space. Aside from couples and single travellers, most leisure travellers comprise of groups. Space is almost always an important factor. Families are often happy to share bedrooms and bathrooms, but groups of friends may seek out properties with en-suite bathrooms. Shared facilities need to be big enough to enjoy easily without feeling cramped. Villas and free-standing houses are often preferred by groups as these properties have plenty of space. Couples, singles and small groups however may prefer the compact convenience of apartments.
  • Swimming Pools. Without a doubt, pools are one of the most sought-after facilities for leisure travel – especially during the peak travel season that falls in the hot summer months. Whether it is a large infinity pool overlooking the ocean or a small splash pool, having somewhere to cool down will always be a plus for guests. If your property is located in a complex with shared facilities, make sure that guests are able to access the pool easily.
  • Patios, Balconies & Gardens. Outdoor space is another must-have for vacation rentals. Travellers visiting with children will need somewhere for the kids to play. Those without kids will still want to be able to relax outdoors. Whatever space you have, essential elements to include in your outdoor area include tables and chairs, lighting and, if possible, a barbeque.
  • Housekeeping. The last thing anyone wants to do on holiday is housework. Regular housekeeping will allow your guests to enjoy their holiday without having to worry about keeping things tidy. In addition to weekly housekeeping, it is a good idea to consider a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier. This will enable your guests to do their own washing without wasting too much time finding laundries or doing dishes by hand.
  • Concierge. Concierge services are incredibly useful for all travel markets. For leisure travellers, you can provide assistance with car rental, restaurant bookings and sight-seeing. You could also assist with flight bookings or help visitors find local attractions by providing an area guidebook. Offering a list of useful contacts for things like family doctors, spas, restaurants, banks, shopping centres and other relevant providers will also help your guests find things to see and do.
  • Child Facilities. Some properties have an age limit, while others cater to kids of all ages. If your property is safe for children, consider how you can make little ones happy during the holiday. Cots, high chairs, safety nets on the pool, non-slip floors, games, lawns, bunk beds, child-appropriate DVDs and a fridge stocked with the family’s favourite foods will make your guests feel very welcome. A list of family-friendly restaurants and attractions will also be appreciated.


The best way to develop a vacation rental strategy that is targeted at leisure travel markets is to consider an experienced short term rental property manager. A good manager will help you actively promote your property across relevant channels, while also providing comprehensive management services to ensure that your property is prepared for guests. To learn more about working with Totalstay, simply contact us today to arrange an evaluation of your vacation rental property.