Which Types of Travelers Should Small Hotels Target?

Many small accommodation providers aren’t sure how to adequately target the best types of travelers for their properties. Your skills lie in being a great accommodation provider – not in marketing.

But the fact remains that there are many different types of travelers that you should be marketing to, because they’re looking for exactly what you offer.

Here we discuss how you can attract the most lucrative types of guests to your bed and breakfast, small hotel, inn or guesthouse.


As a group, families take more trips per year (4.5) than business travelers (3.9), Gen Y travelers (3.9), or Gen X travelers (3.5) (Travel Market Report).

Traveling families are the perfect guests for small hotels because they travel often and are budget conscious.

Travel Market Report identifies the different categories for traveling families:

  • Traditional. One or more parents and one or more children.
  • Multi-generational. Multiple generations and more than one nuclear family grouping.
  • Variations. Grandparents may take grandkids on vacation, or adult siblings and their spouses may travel together and leave their kids behind.

To get them to stay with you, a family-centric offer needs to be created. This means that you are sensitive to the needs of children – not just in terms of facilities, but it’s the personal touches that count. For example, give children something to colour in while the parents check in.

There is also a huge upsell opportunity with traveling families. You can offer them:

  • A baby seat for their car;
  • Pram hire; and,
  • Child-friendly activities they can pre-purchase.


Otherwise known as Gen Y, Millennials are young, hip and they like to spend big when they travel:

The rise in youth spending “vastly outstripped” that of other international travelers (WYSE).

Young travelers now represent 20% of international tourism (WYSE)

One in four Millennials are planning more overnight leisure trips this year compared to last year (MMYG Global).

Millennials are tech-savvy and they know how to search high and low for a good hotel deal. They’re also very vocal and will not hesitate to share their honest thoughts on review sites and social media if your facilities and services fail to impress.

With that in mind, you want to make sure that you adapt to their high expectations and cater to their needs.


Before their stay, provide online convenience.

Allow them to learn about your property and book themselves in online, from any device.

If your website is difficult to use across devices, and they can’t check availability or book with you immediately, you will immediately lose points and they will look for an alternative.

During their stay, delight them with your service.

Millennials are constantly connected to their social networks, and actively post to them while they travel.

Give them free wifi (this is something they will expect at a bare minimum), and personal experiences that they will share online with their networks.

Do something share-worthy and the millennials will share it!

Business Travelers

It’s important to cater to business travelers while they travel. They have quite similar needs to those of millennials, because many of them are millennials!

Tourism Review reports that Generation-Y, otherwise known as Millennials, now make up a third of business flight passengers in the US, and are set to represent 50% of business passengers by 2020. Gen-Y business travelers have higher travel expenditures on average.

Tnooz reports that convenience is the number one priority for business travelers. In terms of their booking habits:

  • 57% are planning their trip 1-3 weeks before traveling.
  • 50% have “full control” when it comes to the freedom to plan trips, and 29% have “some control”.
  • On their business trip, the majority of their spend goes to food and drinks, then their data plan, then entertainment

Free wifi is a given, because they need to be checking their emails for work purposes.

Solo Travelers

Some people just prefer to travel solo – and the good news is, they tend to stay at hotels instead of with friends and family, or vacation homes (Travel Market Report).

The motivations for solo travel are typically interest-related. The person may have a partner that doesn’t share their interest in skiing, for example, so they embark on a one-week skiing trip at your destination.

Travel Weekly reports that:

  • 44% of travel agency clients taking solo trips are 55 or older
  • 29% are between the ages of 45 and 55
  • 18% are between the ages of 35 and 45
  • 9% are between the ages of 25 and 35
  • 0.4% are between the ages of 18 and 24

This is probably because older travelers have more time and money to take solo trips.

Solo travelers often book from overseas, and may not speak your language.

You need to make sure they book with you by using a booking engine that connects with various OTAs (the most popular ones in their country) and manages the language translation for you.

If you don’t yet have this capability, Little Hotelier can manage this for you. See how it works with our detailed demo videos.

hotel reservation system demo

You can also get more traveler insights with our ebook, which discusses all the latest trends and how you can harness them for revenue:

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