What are the types of hotel guests?

The types of hotel guests you market and sell to at your property can have a big impact on how much revenue you can make.

Some of the most common types of hotel guest include:

  • Leisure travellers
  • Business travellers and digital nomads
  • Luxury travellers
  • Wellness travellers
  • Solo travellers
  • Group travellers

While every person is unique, categorising travellers into guest types can be useful for your hotel, such as when you want to gain a better understanding of your current or future customers to boost bookings and drive extra revenue from upselling or ancillary services.

In this blog we’ll unpack all the different hotel guest and traveller types you might encounter at your property and help you easily target the market you want to attract.

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What are the types of business travellers?

Even within the broad category of business travellers, there are many variances which affect the accommodation and booking choices they make.

Different types of business travellers include:

Frequent business travellers

These business travellers are constantly on the go, travelling via car or short flights regularly for short periods of time. They may only stay one or two nights, or be at different accommodation each night. Typically they’ll be well organised and efficient since they are so busy.


These types of business travellers are very client focused, travelling to meet potential customers in person and giving them a positive experience that may include taking them out for dinner or to local attractions as part of their sales process or customer relationship management.


Many business travellers will hunt high and low to find the best deals to keep travel expenses low. They may choose cheaper flights and hotels quite happily, without feeling like they are compromising their experience too much.

Bleisure travellers

Bleisure travellers prioritise the time to enjoy downtime while on their trips, ensuring they are able to take in the local sights and culture. This may often mean they extend their stay to have free days before or after their work commitments.

Tech-led business travellers

These guests will use apps and tools to make their research and booking phase easy, and they’ll also want to know their accommodation has the amenities to cater to their work needs.

What are the types of leisure travellers?

Leisure travellers are even more diverse, both in demographics and purpose of travel, and the types are too many to list.

However, some examples you might see include:

  • Solo guests or backpackers
  • Romantic couples
  • Family groups
  • Friend groups
  • Wellness guests
  • Religious or spiritual guests
  • Adventurers
  • And more!

What your hotel and your local area offers will contribute significantly to which types you are most likely to attract.

Why should you know the different types of travellers?

Knowing the different types of hotel guests is important for helping you determine how to approach every aspect of your business: the way you decorate your space, the type of guest experience you offer, the online travel agents (OTAs) you list on and the marketing you invest in, and what you include in your direct booking offering, to name a few.

‘Knowing your guests’ isn’t about getting the story of every individual who walks through your door – it’s instead about understanding the types of guests that your hotel attracts, and categorising them into broad, useful groups.

Armed with these insights, you can then focus your efforts on attracting and pleasing a more specific type of guest, which ultimately helps your business make more money.

Personas of hotel guest types

Hotel personas are often referred to as a buyer persona or customer persona, which describes a business’s ideal guest. 

They are based on a profile informed by research and data about the sort of customer a business currently attracts or wants to attract.

Every hotelier, no matter how new or inexperienced, will have an idea of the type of guest they’re looking to attract. The idea of a ‘target guest’ may well be unspoken or subconscious, but it will be there somewhere – a reflection of your property, its destination, online presence, and guest experience that you’ve built.

Guest personas give your ideal customer a (fictional) face, name and backstory. They help you to gain a better understanding of who you are targeting, their goals and motivations, and what they’re looking for from you. They replace an abstract concept – target customers – with something clear, tangible and easy to understand.

Why are hotel personas important?

Creating a hotel persona for your guests is crucial for turning the idea of your ideal customer into something more tangible and useful, to more accurately answer questions like:

  • Who is the target audience of our hotel?
  • What are their needs and wants?
  • How can we make our hotel as alluring as possible to our target customer?
  • How can we differentiate ourselves from our competitors in the eyes of our target audience?
  • Why would our target customer choose our hotel? Why wouldn’t they?
  • Where are our marketing resources best spent to attract our target customer?
  • How can we change our systems and processes to better suit our customers?
  • Is there a type of hotel guest that we don’t currently try to attract, but should?

Creating a customer persona for your hotel can be a particularly illuminating experience – one that clarifies everything from interior design, to advertising spend, to your ultimate business goals.

How to identify the types of travellers in tourism

There are two main methods you can use to identify the types of hotel guests your property attracts.

1. Qualitative/subjective

The first method is a simple eye test. Look around your hotel and note what you see. What are the demographics of your ‘average’ guest? How old are they? Are they travelling for business or pleasure? Are they flying solo or with a group? What are their interests? Are they budget travellers, luxury travellers or something in between? 

Remember that there may be multiple answers to each of these questions, as a hotel can attract more than one type of guest.

2. Quantitative/objective

If you want a more precise idea of the types of hotel guests you attract, you need only look at the data. Get your guests to offer up a bit of information about themselves when they book, then gather insights from that data. Use a tool like  Google Analytics to understand the sort of person who visits your website, and Meta Business Suite to see who follows you on social media.

6 types of travellers

It’s largely agreed upon that there are six broad types of travellers which you can target at your hotel.

Here is the full list and some tips on how to catch their attention:

1. Leisure travellers

The majority of your hotel guests are likely to be leisure travellers, whether couples looking for romance, families wanting to make memories together, or retired seniors who want to relax in a charming setting while they explore a new destination. 

Offering local resources and convenient services will help entice leisure travellers to book with you, as they’ll probably want to explore during their stay. 

Leisure travellers are often open to upgrades, and upsells so use a booking engine to offer these in an effective way.

2. Business travellers and digital nomads

Business travellers may opt to stay at your property when they are visiting your area for a meeting, conference or sales opportunity. 

They are a powerful segment to target because they are motivated more by convenience than price. By offering extras such as free wifi and complimentary transportation services, you may see an influx of goal-oriented business travellers who are willing to pay more for efficiency. 

Digital nomads can represent a slightly different segment. They tend to be a little more sensitive to price, as they tend to fund their own adventures rather than putting it all on a company card. Offering a designated workspace, whether in rooms or a common area, can help to attract this type of hotel guest.

3. Luxury travellers

Luxury travellers come in two main forms. Many people see travel as an opportunity to treat themselves, and are willing to spend a significant amount doing so. 

Other luxury travellers are simply wealthy enough to book the finest property wherever they go. Both types of luxury traveller look for similar things in the properties they book: stunning, well located properties that offer an unmatched guest experience. 

Put simply, to attract luxury travellers you need to be the best. But it also helps to advertise in places they are likely to be researching. Mr and Mrs Smith is one such online channel, which you can easily connect and manage via a hotel channel manager.

4. Wellness travellers

Where some hotel guests see travel as an opportunity for adventure and exploration, others see it as a chance to relax and escape the pressures of daily life. 

The wellness traveller segment has exploded in recent years, headlined by properties like day spa hotels and yoga retreats. In order to attract wellness travellers you need to know your target market inside out: who they are, the form of health and wellness they’re looking for, and how they’d prefer their therapeutic stay to play out.

Common ways to attract the eye of wellness guests is to offer dedicated spa areas, yoga rooms, meditation classes, or organic restaurant menus.

5. Solo travellers

Solo travellers appreciate hotels that offer respite from the challenges of independent travel, while also offering an opportunity to connect with other guests. Many solo travellers are young people backpacking through a destination. They enjoy tech-savvy amenities, such as mobile apps and charging stations, but they also appreciate common areas where they can meet people during their stay.

The largest motivating factor for this particular type of hotel guest will be room rates. They want budget accommodation and are willing to sacrifice luxury for the best deal. In order to attract these guests you should create small hotel packages with other local businesses to provide them with the experiences and discounts they desire. 

Setting up exclusive promotions on your website with discounts for solo guests could be a great way to maximise occupancy when you need to fill a few extra rooms.

6. Group travellers

Group travellers; whether they are families, businesses, volunteer organisations, tour groups or students, tend to look for hotels that offer a local experience and an intimate location where they can gather at the end of the night. 

Group travellers typically look for discounted rates and convenient locations that allow them to access nearby shopping, dining and attractions. 

They also enjoy creature comforts, such as afternoon treats and peaceful common areas where they can unwind from their travels. 

Knowing the type of guest you want to attract, or attracting a diverse range of guests, is both an enjoyable part of the job and an important part of developing your brand and increasing your bookings. Be sure to create a marketing strategy that targets different traveller market segments, so that you can boost your brand recognition worldwide.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).