Is it better to buy a holiday let in an established tourist region or in a less well-known area? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options
If you buy a property in France to run as holiday lets, what type of location should you choose? Is it best to be located in an established tourist region or to discover a lesser known area? While you want somewhere that will bring you a good income remember that you will probably want to live there or use it as a holiday home for yourself at some point so it needs to be somewhere you love as well.
Advantages and disadvantages of a tourist hotspot
1. An established market…
An established tourist region has the advantage of having a ready market of visitors looking for holiday accommodation that you can tap in to. Good infrastructure will also probably be in place with good transport links and plenty of amenities such as shops and restaurants.
2. More competition
However, being in a popular tourist area also means there will be plenty of competition from other holiday lets. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you market the property well and offer features that make you stand out from the crowd.
3. Your property will need to stand out from the crowd
With so much competition for visitors you will have to ensure that your property has features that make it stand out from the crowd. This could be a great location, period features, great facilities, excellent customer service or targeting a certain group like families or couples. Whatever your USP is make sure you really emphasise it in your marketing.
4. Higher prices
Properties in popular tourist areas are likely to more expensive than in lesser-known areas. However, rental prices for holiday lets in popular areas are also likely to be higher so you can charge your visitors more. However, make sure you are in line with other holiday lets in your area or you could lose out to the competition, and have different prices for peak and off-peak seasons.
5. Distinct peak and off-peak seasons
A popular tourist area is likely to be seasonal, whether it is a beach and therefore popular in the hot summer season, or a ski resort and reliant on good snowfall. So you are likely to find yourself booked out during peak seasons but with fewer bookings in off-peak seasons. In order to make money year-round you will have to find a way of attracting people during off-peak seasons. Quiet periods are not necessarily a disadvantage though as you will have time to visit and enjoy the property yourself, carry out any maintenance work.
Advantages and disadvantages of a lesser-known region
1. There will be less competition
Choosing a holiday let in a less well-known area means there is likely to be much less competition for visitors from other holiday accommodation.
2. You will have to put a lot of effort into attracting visitors
However, that also means that you don’t have a ready market of tourists to tap into and so you will have to put a lot of effort into marketing your property to tourists and persuading them to come to a location they may not have heard of. You will need to provide plenty of photos and details about the area and spell out advantages such as avoiding crowds and discovering a new area. Also give information about transport and nearby airports and train stations. Don’t limit yourself to one market, advertise on different websites targeting different countries and tailor your advertising to suit different markets.
3. Lower prices
Properties in lesser-known areas are likely to be cheaper than popular tourist areas so you can buy a lot more for your money. However, rental prices are also likely to be lower so you will make less income from your holiday let. This could be a good selling point though as visitors are often attracted to cheaper holidays. Check what other holiday lets in the area charge and have different prices for peak and off-peak season.
4. The area will be less touristy
Off-the-beaten-track holiday destinations are becoming more popular and so being in a less touristy area could be a real selling point. Make sure to emphasise how the area is unspoilt by tourism, how local traditions are still followed and the many locally run cafes and restaurants serving traditional food at cheaper prices than tourist hotspots.
5. You could benefit from longer letting seasons
Unlike tourist areas which often rely on short seasons for visitors – such as ski resorts or beach resorts – a lesser well-known area could enjoy a longer letting season and so attract visitors for more months of the year.