Short-term Rental News Digest – January 2020

Any host who wants to have a successful short-term rental business should always keep up with the basic industry news and trends. Read the short-term rental news digest below and learn about the most important events in the industry!

Happy New Year! As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. We hope that 2020 will be the year during which you can realize your vision. By sharing the latest news in the short-term rental industry, we aim to help you get it right the first time during 2020. 

So, to help you start this new year with a big bang, in this digest we look at which areas the experts predicted to be the top destinations this year. Plus, we also share with you new features that some of the platforms have introduced. Let’s find out more about the headlines that the short-term rental industry has helped to create and start the year on a high note.

Top Destinations for 2020

Top Destinations for 2020

Exceptional Villas, a top international luxury villa rental company, has shared a list with the top trending places for 2020. Using customer feedback, future bookings and inquiries, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Hawaii, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Italy have been identified as the best destinations for this year. While not amongst the top, the Bahamas is also receiving more bookings.

Meanwhile, Villas of Distinction has also revealed its list of destinations to watch this year. This premier villa rental company has identified Orlando, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Sicily and St. Martin as the most promising destinations.

Need a Break, But You’re Broke?

“Januworry” is often a tough month financially. So, Airbnb has created a list of the ten cheapest cities where you can stay when you’re planning an urban break in Europe. 

According to the company’s internal data, the quaint city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina offers the cheapest accommodation at only £22 per person. Overall, Romania boasts the biggest variety of budget-friendly city breaks with three cities on the list, with Poland coming a close second with two cities. Other countries that each boast a city are Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Ukraine. 

Open Homes Programme Opened in Australia

While the vacation rental industry in some countries is looking forward to a good year, vacation rental owners in Australia are currently facing many challenges. Australia is currently experiencing its worst bushfires in decades. As a result, many guests had to cancel bookings. To help bushfire survivors and relief workers, Airbnb’s Open Homes initiative has been started again in Victoria and New South Wales. 

Airbnb Starts to Remove Problematic Party Houses

Airbnb Starts to Remove Problematic Party Houses

Making good on their promise, Airbnb has started the process of banning party houses on its platform. Airbnb has already delisted close to 30 properties which have become infamous for hosting parties in Los Angeles. Other changes that Airbnb is planning to repair its trustworthiness is reviewing all listings and putting in place a support line for local government and neighbors.

Vrbo and HomeAway Introduce Virtual Tour Tech

Lots of apps, tools, and software solutions have been created specifically for the short-term rental industry. The real estate industry has already used virtual tour tech for a couple of years and now Vrbo and HomeAway have followed suit. With this technology, potential guests can now view the interior of a rental. 

Thanks to the use of panoramic photos, a first-person view gets created letting users feel as if they’re actually walking through the listing. This helps to give a much more realistic impression. This virtual tour technology is at this moment only available in the US and Bali. Introduces CityBook App

Following Vrbo’s example, has also introduced a new app to complement its services. The CityBook app was launched in Amsterdam, London, and Paris and will share useful info to travelers. This info includes curated suggestions, discounts, and other offers. 

The vice president of’s experiences, Ram Papatla, explains that the goal of this new introduction is to make the process more seamless for travelers. The plan is to make this app available to Rome, Tokyo, Barcelona, Berlin and New York too.

In its attempt to make hosting simpler and the experience for guests more seamless, has also renewed its partnership with Google Nest recently. More information about this will be shared at a later date.

VRMA Launches an Accreditation Program

VRMA Accreditation Program

VRMA has introduced a new innovative program called the APPMC Program. The goal of the Accredited Professional Property Management Company Program is to identify vacation rental businesses that fulfill industry standards of excellence. Some of the important areas that it looks at include: legal adherence, financial management, guest interactions, marketing, maintenance, and housekeeping. Only businesses that comply with all the standards will be awarded the APPMC designation.

Mike Copps, the executive director of VRMA commented that it was key to define the level of professionalism in the industry to help attract travelers and motivate them to return. He added, “VRMA is committed to continuing to raise the bar of professionalism in the industry and the APPMC Program is another demonstration of that commitment.”

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