Last month, our Short-term Rental News Digest reported that the industry has started to show encouraging signs of bouncing back. This month, we’re thrilled to report that more new trends have started to emerge that hosts and property managers can capitalize on.
In any industry, there comes a time that you need to make adjustments. Perhaps you need to change your target audience? Or, maybe you need to start offering additional services? Whatever the case might be, if you work in the hospitality industry, you have, no doubt, the skill to be flexible, adjust, and hit any curveball for a home run. Let’s take a closer look at the new opportunities that have arisen for professional hosts.
The IPO filing process has started! While Airbnb has initially planned to start the process in March already, they had to adjust their plans in light of the pandemic. However, signs that the travel industry is rebounding have made it possible for Airbnb to set their much-awaited plans in motion now.
At this stage, there are no details in connection with how many shares will be made available. It is anticipated that the IPO will happen after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has completed the evaluation process.
Since Airbnb has launched its Online Experiences four months ago, hosts have already generated over $2 million. In fact, the hosts of Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens have earned over $300,000 alone. Other popular Online Experiences are mobile photo secrets, top coffee masterclasses, and meditation with a Buddhist Monk.
This virtual version has proved to be very popular among guests with more than 50% saying that they would continue to support this initiative even after in-person activities have started again. It has also helped to introduce new users to Airbnb with 15% of guests who have booked an Online Experience never having used Airbnb before. Currently, there are over 700 Online Experiences available.
Though, this success has not come without issues. Apple has reportedly demanded to receive a 30% commission of the sales that these Online Experiences have generated as per Apple’s App Store guidelines. The tech firm has threatened Airbnb with removing the Airbnb app from the App Store.
According to the Future of Travel survey that was completed by Europ Assistance in partnership with Ipsos, travelers will feel more comfortable to resume international travel again next year. About 20% of the 10,000 travelers from 11 countries who were interviewed expressed interest in taking an international trip in 2021.
In the meantime, the majority will stick to exploring their local surroundings this summer. More travelers also indicated that they will invest in travel insurance for their upcoming travels. Francine Abgrall, Europ Assistance Group’s head of travel, commented that while there was still a high degree of uncertainty, the survey’s results were positive and indicate that the industry can look forward to a strong rebound.
With domestic travel on the increase again, Airbnb has partnered with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). The aim of this new partnership is to enable travelers to create meaningful connections that are responsible, healthy, and safe and that will be advantageous to local businesses and indigenous communities across Canada.
To help with this initiative, Airbnb has created a website that showcases Airbnb Experiences and listings in indigenous communities, while ITAC will encourage its members to become Airbnb hosts.
A joint analysis between two companies, AirDNA and STR, has revealed that the short-term rental industry has performed better than hotels during the pandemic in close to 30 markets.
The data collected has revealed that both hotels and short-term rentals had to brave significant challenges, but the fact that there are more short-term rentals available in remote locations played in its favor. Travelers are currently searching for property types where they can practice social distancing and thanks to the larger properties available for short-term rent, hotels experienced a bigger decline in average daily rates and occupancy.
Research completed by Vrbo has revealed that more families are booking vacation rentals outside of the main holiday season. The new “flexcation” travel trend also sees families booking longer trips. Interest in four-week stays has increased by 15%! Almost half of the 887 US travelers who were interviewed have revealed that as they can work remotely they can afford to mix business with pleasure.
Another motivating factor for opting to book a trip outside of the normal peak period is the need for a change of scenery. As a result, families are also enjoying new experiences together. Lish Kennedy, Vrbo’s VP of brand marketing, commented, “It’s inspiring to see how families have become resilient and resourceful by choosing alternative ways and dates to take a vacation.”
Travala, a blockchain-based OTA, has expanded its portfolio by adding over one million new holiday homes. What sets this booking platform apart from the other Airbnb alternatives is that it allows travelers to pay via cryptocurrency, in addition to debit/credit cards and other mainstream payment methods.
Established in 2017, Travala has identified the increasing interest in alternative accommodation for local travel as the driving force behind its decision to expand its portfolio. A report released by TurnKey Vacation Rentals has revealed that millennials will make up for 75% of bookings in the next couple of years, making Travala’s move to accept bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies as a payment option a smart move.