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    Helpful tips for welcoming international guests

    Navigate cross-cultural communication with these tips from a Superhost in Japan.
    By Airbnb on Jul 19, 2021
    3 min read
    Updated Jul 19, 2021

    Highlights

    • We’re celebrating how Hosts welcome guests from all over the world

    • The Host Advisory Board’s Shinya Nishide shares tips for helping create enjoyable stays for guests from other cultures

    Hello everyone,

    I’m Shinya, a Superhost from Osaka, Japan, and a member of the Host Advisory Board. In honor of Airbnb’s Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences bringing people from all over the world close to the action of Tokyo 2020, I wanted to celebrate Airbnb’s diverse community.

    Read on to find out what I’ve learned about hosting by being a guest, and my advice for how Hosts can welcome people from different cultures.

    The benefits of home sharing

    The first time I used Airbnb was in 2015 on a business trip in Shanghai, China. A huge company was having a big event and the local hotels were booked, so I found accommodations on Airbnb.

    Once I arrived, I had a nice chat with the Host, who told me about the space. It was very different from a hotel, but I loved it. This experience taught me that when Hosts and guests connect, it can make the stay unique and more memorable.

    Hosts I’ve met during my trips have become some of my most valuable connections. I’ve learned from them that the way I’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way that everybody else does. Traveling always develops my empathy and deepens my understanding of other cultures.

    Finding my calling as a Host

    I wanted to become a Host to learn more about the world and provide guests with special moments and connections, like previous Hosts did for me.

    I love Osaka, and I've been hosting for five years. My space celebrates Japanese style and Zen philosophy.

    I work full time for my family’s business, but hosting is really my life's work—and it feels more like a hobby than a job.

    I believe that hosting someone is not just about giving them a place to stay, but also connecting with them and sharing your culture.

    Tips for welcoming guests from other cultures

    Here’s some advice from my experiences traveling the world and hosting hundreds of guests:

    Translating your listing description into other languages
    Having your Airbnb listing in a guest’s language can help them feel more welcome. I started with 6 languages and have added more gradually.

    If you want to find out common languages that guests in your area speak, you can check with your local Host Club or tourism organization. Then you can use a free online translation tool for your listing description.

    Communicating before the trip 
    I believe that pre-trip communication is essential and offers lots of opportunities to improve the Host-guest experience and prevent misunderstandings. It also allows me to understand why guests are coming, what they want to do, and how I can help them.

    Creating a smooth check-in
    Visiting a new country can make some travelers feel anxious. To help guests feel more at ease, I share practical information about train passes, schedules, and prices.

    I also try to greet guests in person, or even meet them at the train station nearby. If I'm not available, I’ll try to have someone from my family help out. Guests have told me that the personal greeting really means a lot to them.

    Providing warm hospitality
    I believe that part of being a welcoming Host is being someone guests can really trust. It’s not only about providing a safe environment in the home, but also providing peace of mind outside of the home.

    After I’ve talked to guests about their trip, I’ll often share customized recommendations of things to do and directions for how to get there. I also try to provide useful information about other cities, not just Osaka, and give guests directions to their next accommodation.

    Sharing your culture
    I offer my guests an opportunity to be immersed in the culture of Japan. I want them to have an extraordinary stay that leads to new ways of seeing things—and creates a deep connection to Japan and the people here. This includes helping guests understand the local community, cultural differences, and etiquette so they can interact with local residents and businesses.

    Find out more about what the Host Advisory Board has been up to, and stay tuned for monthly updates and tips from board members.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Airbnb
    Jul 19, 2021
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