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Top Upselling Examples for Vacation Rentals and Tourist Accommodations in Australia

The short-term rental market in Australia is experiencing mixed fortunes: listings increase, occupancy rates drop and tightening regulation. Top Australian holiday rental experts also named consistency, trust and guest satisfaction as the common challenges in the sector.

This is why Aussie hospitality professionals look for ways to elevate guest experience and diversify revenue streams with upsell strategies. The best and most revenue-generating upselling examples in Australia are Sydney Opera House tickets, Great Barrier Reef experience and Great Ocean Road tour. Read on to see how much you can earn offering popular local experiences to guests in your tourist accommodation rentals.

How many holiday homes are there in Australia? Finding the competitive edge.

Around 560,000 Australians (2.9% of the population) own a holiday home.

According to Pricelabs, in 2023 Airbnb had around 166,000 listings in Australia, making it the 10th largest market globally.

With high competition from hotels and other Australian vacation rental operators, there’s a need to stand out in the market. The good news is that the right upselling strategy provides a competitive edge, regardless of business size.

Here’s an example of a leading holiday rental operator in New South Wales, boosting guest satisfaction and revenue with technology.

Tim Mortimer, Founder and CEO of BnB Made Easy

What are Short-Term Rental Upsells?

A short-term rental upsell is a powerful tool which refers to the practice of offering guests additional products, services, or upgrades to enhance their stay, while increasing the revenue. This strategy is commonly used in the short-term rental industry and can be either operational, or involve tours, activities, and experiences.  The key to successful upselling is understanding the guests’ needs and preferences and offering relevant and valuable additions that enhance their experience. Effective guest communication plays a crucial role in identifying these needs and suggesting suitable upsells.This approach not only boosts revenue but can also lead to higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.

Upsells in Hotels VS Vacation Rentals: What’s the Difference

Upsells in hotels typically involve concierge services and traditional amenities, whereas in the short-term rental properties industry, this process is digitized to streamline operations. In contrast, vacation rental upsells are more personalized, catering to individual guest needs like grocery delivery, private chefs, and local tours. Vacation rentals offer operators flexibility to innovate, tailoring unique experiences to their property and target market. This personalized approach is integral to the business model of vacation rentals, allowing them to provide an exceptional guest experience. With the growing popularity of short-term rentals, more travelers are choosing them for accommodation. These guests now expect hotel-like services during their stays. Therefore, offering add-on amenities and other enhancements is crucial for hospitality professionals managing vacation rentals.

Why offer upsells in vacation rentals?

Offering upsells in vacation rentals brings multiple advantages. By enhancing the guest experience through added convenience and luxury, you can significantly increase guest satisfaction and tailor to your target audience’s specific needs. This not only boosts your revenue but also helps in building a strong and recognizable brand. Upselling also encourages repeat business, as guests are more likely to return to a place where they felt valued and pampered. Moreover, satisfied guests are more inclined to leave positive reviews, further enhancing your property’s reputation and attracting new visitors. Understanding market trends and employing effective revenue management strategies are essential for maximizing these benefits, ensuring that upselling occurs at the best time to meet guest demand. Ultimately, vacation rentals play a similar role to hotels in the hospitality industry, adapting to modern expectations and providing exceptional, personalized experiences.

How much revenue per listing can I add with upsells in Australia?

A well-executed upselling strategy, tailored to your guests needs and the capacity of your business, can substantially boost revenue. So how can you get the potential revenue increase from upsells in your vacation rental business in Australia?

Factors like your property type, capacity, average stay length, and booking channels can impact your potential revenue uplift. We can make a quick estimate, with a basic formula:

Take the value of an experience or service upsell and calculate your cut. Different affiliate programsoffer different rev share to partners. For example, Viator offers 8% revenue share. In this case we’ll use this number, but you can insert the percentage of any affiliate partner you choose to work with. Take 8% out of an experience that costs USD $100. And just like that – you earn USD $8 every time one of your guests orders this experience through your link! In the business world it is usually referred as “free money”.

Vacation Rental Affiliate Marketing to Maximize Revenue

This is the revenue a property manager typically retains without sharing with the owners—your choice. In the STR industry, where margins are thin, these numbers can significantly impact your bottom line.

Below you can see the real experiential packages in Australia you can offer your guests to make a hassle-free profit.

Learn more about the economic of vacation rental upselling.

Conducting analysis based on your data, continuously testing and optimizing the upsell process are recommended to maximize the revenue uplift. The best way to do this is to have a guest experience dashboard, where you and your team can track the performance.

When should you try to upsell services in your vacation rental?

To effectively upsell services in your vacation rental, timing is crucial. Key opportunities include during the booking confirmation, when guests are excited about their stay, and upon check-in, when they might be interested in enhancements like upgraded amenities. Additionally, mid-stay touchpoints are ideal for offering experiences or services that can improve their current stay. Tailoring your upsell strategies to these moments ensures relevance and increases the likelihood of conversion, thereby maximizing revenue without overwhelming guests. Read more about when to upsell services in your short-term rental.

Types of Vacation Rental Upsells

Operational Upsells

Includes everything that requires operational resources from property managers. This includes flexible access, like early check-in, late checkout, in-property extras, like mid-stay cleaning or pool heating and gap nights. These higher offers are best ways to make sure your guests have a successful vacation and you maximize revenue. The downside of this strategy is that it can raise operational costs, adding pressure on your cleaning and guest relations teams. By automating processes and enhancing efficiency with AI and condition-based workflows, this can be mitigated, making it worth your while.

Service Upsells

Service upsells aim to enhance the guest experience by providing additional services that add convenience, luxury, or comfort. These services can include personalized concierge assistance, in-room amenities, and private transportation options. In most cases these offers can be implemented by third party service providers.

Activities and Experiences

These include experiential offering that doesn’t involve operational efforts from the property manager. The best way to offer these upsells are through partnerships or affiliate programs, like Viator or Holibob.

Operational Upsells

An operational upsell in the hospitality industry refers to offering guests additional services related to the operation and convenience of their stay. These services enhance the guest experience by providing added comfort, flexibility, and convenience, for an additional fee. Below are some examples:

Early Check-in

An early check-in offers guests the possibility to access the accommodation before the standard check-in time. This would normally be between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. The service is valuable for guests arriving early in the day who want to rest, unload the bags, relax or start exploring the destination.

Late Check-out

By providing guests with late check-out, you let them stay in the property after a standard checkout time. This is usually between 10am and 12PM. When people have late departures, the possibility to enjoy the property for a little longer can add-up to the vacation experience. Many guests are ready to pay a premium for convenience. A willingness to offer your guests the flexibility of a later stay can go a long way.

Stay Extension or Gap Nights

This is type of an upsell offering can be a golden opportunity for a rental operator to increase occupancy rate. Fill short gaps between reservations by offering departing and arriving guests to extend their stays and fill gap nights. By automating this process, you can make sure to capture these rental income opportunities with a great value proposition.

Mid-stay Clean

A short-term rental housekeeping doesn’t include daily cleaning. However, travelers staying for longer periods of time, would appreciate mid-stay housekeeping service and would pay extra to pay for the cleaning team effort.

Pool/Hot tub Maintenance

Offering this upsell requires knowing your audience and the market you are in very well. If it is something that makes sense, upselling pool or hot tub maintenance can boost profits while enhancing the guest experience.

Service Upsells

Service upsells focus on offering additional guest services that enhance their stay by providing extra convenience, luxury, or comfort. These can range from personalized concierge services to in-room amenities and private transportation. Examples include:

Transportation Services: Offering airport pickup and drop-off services, car rentals, or shuttle services to nearby attractions.

Food and Beverage Delivery: Offer grocery delivery services where guests can pre-order groceries and have them delivered to their rental before or during their stay. You can also provide an option for guests to order ready-to-eat meals and beverages from nearby restaurants.

Equipment Rentals: Provide rental services for equipment that guests might need during their stay. Examples include bicycles, baby equipment (cribs, high chairs), or beach accessories (chairs, snorkeling gear).

Tours, Activities, Experiences as Vacation Rental Upsells in Australia

Experiential upsells involve offering guests unique tours, activities, and experiences to enrich their stay. These can include guided city tours, adventure activities, cultural experiences, or wellness sessions. By providing these curated experiences, you can create memorable moments for guests while generating additional revenue.

Top Experiential Offerings in Australia You Can Profit From

We’ve made the research of the most revenue generating experiential packages vacation rental operators in Australia offer to their guests. You might find more ideas and partners to be a part of your upselling strategy. We will be happy to hear about it and add them to our list.

Tours, Activities, Experiences to Upsell in Top Tourist Accommodations in Australia

Sydney, New South Wales

Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney Including Scenic World

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Journey to the heart of the Blue Mountains on this full-day tour from Sydney, including hotel pick-up. Kick-off your adventure seeing a koala or a kangaroo at Featherdale Wildlife Park, then enjoy a dramatic view of the Three Sisters rocks from Echo Point. After lunch (own expense), head to Scenic World to ride the Cableway, Skyway and Railway for unbeatable aerial views of the Jamison Valley and Katoomba Falls.

Price: CA$177.44

Your Cut: CA$14.19

Sydney Opera House Tour & Meal + Drink at Opera Bar or House Canteen


Enjoy a great day out in Sydney with this tour combining an hour long guided exploration of the Opera House, followed by a lunch or dinner and drink at House Canteen, with one of the most famous views in Australia. Learn all about the Opera House from your guide and watch a digital experience about the building, too. Choose the time you’d like to go, keeping in mind the restaurant serves meals from 11:30am-6pm.

Price: CA$79.38

Your Cut: CA$6.35

Sydney Harbour Ferry with Taronga Zoo Entry Ticket

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Take in panoramic views of top Sydney landmarks as you cruise through Sydney Harbour en route to Taronga Zoo. Your package includes round-trip cruise from Circular Quay to the zoo as well as admission where you can meet our incredible animals.

Price: CA$72.72

Your Cut: CA$5.82

Big Bus Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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Join a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour by double-decker bus to discover the highlights of Sydney and Bondi Beach. Enjoy unobstructed views and recorded onboard commentary as you travel along two routes to top destinations like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Darling Harbour, and Bondi Beach. Go in-depth wherever you like by hopping off the bus to explore. Experience the city’s most noteworthy attractions at your own pace.

Price: CA$64.44

Your Cut: CA$5.15

Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne Private Walking tour

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Experience Melbourne’s vibrant culture on a captivating walking tour, departing from typical tourist routes. Delve into the city’s history with local guides, exploring iconic landmarks like Federation Square and Hosier Lane. Discover hidden gems and intriguing tales, concluding near the famous Old Melbourne Gaol.

Price: CA$120.31

Your Cut: CA$9.62

Hidden Bars of Melbourne


Get the inside scoop on the best bars in Melbourne on a walking tour that features often overlooked spots that have great drinks and atmosphere. Expect to visit between 10 to 15 bars during your tour, stopping to enjoy two complimentary cocktails along the way. Your guide can customize the bars visited to the interests of the group, and fill you in on other great spots to check out for food or entertainment.

Price: CA$140.08

Your Cut: CA$11.20

Architecture Tour of Melbourne


Discover Melbourne’s architectural scene dating back to the 1850s on this small group tour of the city. Your guide will take you to several places to show you different architectural designs and explain their significance. Stop at Federation Square, Flinder Street Station, ANZ Bank Museum, Scots Church, and more. Make sure to wear comfy shoes as this is around a two hour walking tour.

Price: CA$71.91

Your Cut: CA$5.75

Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne


Take in breathtaking sights of long sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs on this guided, full-day tour of Australia’s Great Ocean Road. See some of the most spectacular coastal scenery on Earth, including the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks and Gibson’s Steps, site of historic cliff lines. Bushwalk in Great Otway National Park and try out your koala-spotting skills. Travel in a deluxe mini-coach with a small group for a relaxing, personalized experience.

Price: CA$144.75

Your Cut: CA$11.58

Brisbane, Queensland

Premium Springbrook Natural Bridge, Glow Worm Cave & Skywalk


Enjoy a day in nature on an intimate small-group tour of the Springbrook National Park and Mount Tamborine. Visit the Natural Bridge, Manmade glowworm caves, meander on Gallery Walk and wander the impressive Tamborine Skywalk rainforest path. Native animals may pop out their heads from time to time, we will see brush turkeys and Water Dragons. Lunch at Local Restaurant is included, to keep you fueled up for adventure. A great day out for families, couples, or solo travelers alike.

Price: CA$186.77

Your Cut: CA$14.94

Stradbroke Island Day Tour from Brisbane


Embark on an unforgettable adventure to North Stradbroke Island, Minjerribah is the second largest sand island in the world! A passionate guide will take you through the most breathtaking sites that ‘Straddie’ has to offer. This isn’t just a day out – it’s a deep dive into the best of Brisbane’s natural bounty.

Price: CA$163.43

Your Cut: CA$13.07

Brisbane River Cruise with entry to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

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Take a leisurely river cruise from Brisbane to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to observe native Australian wildlife. This half-day tour departs from bustling Southbank and cruises along the Brisbane River with views of iconic landmarks on the way to Lone Pine. Upon arrival, enjoy ample time to meet the animals. Observe the platypus, and watch animal shows that feature sheepdogs and birds of prey. A great experience for animal lovers.

Price: CA$102.73

Your Cut: CA$8.21

Cairnes, Queensland

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns


Experience one of the wonders of the natural world up close and personal on this snorkeling and diving cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. Climb aboard a superyacht in Cairns and set sail to two different outer reef locations. Explore the colorful world underneath the water, and snorkel or dive for a closer look. A delicious barbecue lunch and light refreshments are included.

Price: CA$232.53

Your Cut: CA$18.60

Perth, Western Australia 

Pinnacles Desert Sunset Stargazing Tour


The otherworldly landscapes of the Pinnacles Desert are one of Western Australia’s most impressive natural wonders. On this tour, admire the Pinnacles during a magical sunset visit, enjoy a barbecue dinner in the desert, and stay after dark to stargaze. En route, stop at Nilgen Nature Reserve to see wildflowers, sandboard at Lancelin, or visit Hangover Bay to walk on the beach and learn about indigenous food and medicine.

Price: CA$172.77 

Your Cut: CA$13.82

Experience Rottnest with Ferry & Bike Hire


Take a day trip to Rottnest Island, a popular Perth getaway due to its white-sand beaches, secluded bays, scenic bike paths and vehicle-free atmosphere. Travel to the island, just off the coast, by high-speed ferry, and then explore at your leisure with included bike rental. Some options are snorkeling or following the trails to West End, Wadjemup or Bathurst Longhouses, the pink salt lakes or include lunch at Karma Rottnest.

Price: CA$106.46

Your Cut: CA$8.51

Perth Swan River Dinner Cruise


Spend an evening on the Swan River during this Friday or Saturday dinner cruise that highlights the beauty of Perth from the water. As you glide past the downtown riverfront and surrounding suburbs, admire twinkling lights reflecting on the water, listen to live music and dine on a buffet dinner. Australian wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, and tea are provided, and you can purchase cocktails from the bar.

Price: CA$158.76

Your Cut: CA$12.70


Upselling in Australia’s tourist accommodation market is not just a way to boost revenue—it’s an essential strategy for standing out in a competitive landscape. By offering guests unique experiences, such as tickets to the iconic Sydney Opera House, snorkeling adventures at the Great Barrier Reef, or exploring the dramatic Great Ocean Road, property managers can significantly enhance guest satisfaction. These tailored upsells not only meet the diverse interests of travelers but also transform a simple stay into a memorable journey. As the short-term rental market continues to evolve, leveraging local experiences and innovative upselling techniques will be key for Australian hosts to thrive, ensuring they provide value that goes beyond just a place to stay.

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