No one could have closely predicted how 2020 would turn out. All industries were affected by the global pandemic – some more than others. Vacation rental platforms, hosts, and property managers all made strategic changes to their operations to deal with the challenging circumstances.
The biggest trends that emerged were staycations and the increase in domestic travel. Various trend reports revealed that travel is not dead. Though, the majority currently prefer rural areas that they can reach by car.
This year also taught us that it does not matter where you are or what your profession is, we need to stand together. While an island holiday might be just what you need this holiday season, no man is an island. So, if you feel that in 2021, you want to give back and help others in need, be sure to read about Airbnb.org.
In 2012, one host opened her place to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. This kind gesture inspired a program that enabled Airbnb hosts to offer stays for people facing hard times.
From now on, the Open Homes program will be called Airbnb.org. Hosts can use it to offer free and discounted stays to those affected by emergencies like natural disasters.
Airbnb hosts who provide free accommodation or donate regularly will get a special badge. This badge will be displayed on their profile to acknowledge their generosity. Airbnb has also pledged 400,000 shares. This contribution will support the platform’s refugee, emergency response, and natural disaster response programs.
Airbnb.org will operate as an independent non-profit organization. So, all the funding raised via Airbnb.org will be used to cover the cost of stays for people in need. To help them achieve their goal, it will collaborate with partners and governments. It will partner with local and international non-profits like Mercy Corps, the International Rescue Committee, and CARE.
States like Arizona and Florida are feeling the effect of fewer snowbirds this year. Most snowbirds will not be traveling to the US in light of the global pandemic and travel restrictions introduced by the Canadian government.
Visit Florida calculated that only 15,000 Canadians traveled to Florida between April and September. This is a significant decline. According to the state tourism office, about 3.6 million Canadians visited Florida in 2019.
In Arizona, the picture is not looking better. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, Canadian visitors generated about $1 billion in tourism spending in 2019. They estimate that their spending is down by about 60% this year.
Snowbirds usually leave Canada for warmer climates for as long as six months. While long-term stays suffered, the good news is that in Florida stays for fewer than 30 days have reached unexpected heights.
In 2020, ShortTermRentalz launched its very first webinar series – RockSTRz. The webinar will return in February and will look at various topics and themes like guest wellness, reviews, contactless technology, and sustainability. The schedule for 2021 also includes an investment session that will take on the style of the popular Dragon’s Den show.
Airbnb will introduce two-night minimum stays to help hosts. This will apply to whole-home listings for guests without positive reviews. This rule will apply to parts of Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, and the US. One-night bookings that have already been made will continue as planned. In a press release, the platform commented, “Our hosts are our partners in this mission – and we have carefully developed this New Year’s Eve initiative informed by their feedback along with a review of our data, systems, and tools.”
According to Media Radar, Vrbo has spent over 10 times more than Airbnb on marketing this past year. Vrbo has not revealed the exact amount that they have spent on advertising, but Kantar estimated that they have only spent about 20% less this year.
Lish Kennedy, the Vice President of Global Brand, explained, “We haven’t stopped marketing because we believe consumers need to know about and be reminded about Vrbo this year because of the value we bring.” As 2020 made alternative accommodation more popular, it presents Vrbo with a great chance to ride this wave.
Vrbo’s latest advertising campaign, “Your Together Awaits”, features John Legend. It will run on various big channels, including NBC, ESPN, Hulu, ABC, and YouTube.
To help reveal what family travel will look like in 2021, Vrbo analyzed its own data and invited family travelers to take part in a consumer survey. More than 8,000 travelers from eight countries participated in this unique survey.
In general, the findings were rather positive. According to the Vrbo Trend Report 2021, more than 80% of families already have travel plans for 2021. Rural destinations that are close to rivers and lakes are especially popular. Some of the top emerging US destinations are Emory, Smithville, and Mannford.
What is more, over 60% of US families have indicated that they would prefer to visit an outdoorsy destination. The majority will also prefer a national park over an amusement park. As a result, accommodation like cabins and chalets have enjoyed an increase of about 20%.