For many hosts and property managers, the start of 2021 was much anticipated. Not necessarily because of the visions they have for the new year, but in the hope that 2021 will be kinder.
Earlier this month, the US celebrated Martin Lurther King Jr. Day. So, it is only fitting to include his quote about hope: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” We hope that 2021 will be a year of health and infinite hope. By sharing the latest news in the short-term rental industry, we aim to keep you hopeful about the health of the industry.
If you can’t wait to forget about 2020, take a minute to hit pause first. There are certain things from last year that you will want to remember in 2021 for the sake of your vacation rental business. Vrbo shared new data that shows which travel habits that formed last year during the global COVID-19 pandemic will still play a role in the year(s) to come.
Firstly, road trips will continue to be a thing. A nationwide survey of families has revealed that 59% of families will rather travel by car than airplane on their next trip.
Secondly, the great outdoors will remain a popular destination. More than 60% of families that participated in the survey indicated that they would pick an outdoorsy destination over a trip to the city.
Thirdly, more than half of travelers who combined work with a family vacation enjoyed this experience. Two thirds also stated that they would take a “flexcation” again in 2021.
The good news is that more than 80% of the families that were surveyed already made travel plans for the coming year. Melanie Fish, a Vrbo travel expert, commented, “Families are eager to make up for missed vacations. The trips they’re planning in 2021 are going to look similar to many of the trips taken last year.”
Skift, the biggest industry intelligence platform offering insights to key sectors of travel, took it one step (or rather four years) further. They decided to identify travel trends for 2025. The 50-page PDF, Megatrends – Looking Ahead to 2025, makes a few valuable predictions.
For example, it predicts that the sudden digitalization of the workplace last year will lead to a boom in a new form of business travel. They predict that remote workers around the globe will have to attend in-person company-wide meetings. Virtually all employees (and not just executives and salespeople) will become business travelers.
Another interesting prediction is that in 2025 Asia will be a travel powerhouse. The Middle East and Asia-Pacific will, in fact, exceed the levels enjoyed in 2019.
With regards to vacation rentals specifically, they make quite a bold prediction. The report predicts that in 2025, the term “alternative accommodations” will lose its meaning.
The majority of booking sites will no longer list separate categories for apartments, homes, and hotels. Instead, they will simply opt for the term “stays”. They go on to predict that in 2025, Airbnb will revive its boutique hotel business. Airbnb will resemble Booking.com more closely and become more mainstream because of increased short-term rental regulations.
Toronto’s recent clampdown on short-term rentals has motivated Vrbo to exit this vacation rental market. The platform listed over 300 properties in the city before the introduction of stricter regulations at the beginning of this month. Now, Airbnb is the only licensed platform that operates short-term rentals here.
The announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine last year has helped the travel industry to recover slowly. Though, the World Health Organization is refraining from recommending proof of immunity or COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for international travel. Their reason is that the efficacy is still unknown. The WHO panel added, “Proof of vaccination should not exempt international travelers from complying with other travel risk reduction measures.”
Mike Ryan, the organization’s top emergency expert, added that it is also to protect economies from being completely isolated. Currently, there is not enough produced vaccine and unnecessary travel restrictions could have a dire effect on some countries.
Users of Crypto.com can now enjoy up to 25% discounts thanks to a partnership between Booking.com and Crypto.com, a payment and cryptocurrency platform. This discount will apply to accommodation reservations made via Booking.com. Kris Marszalek, the CEO and co-founder of Crypto.com commented, “In 2020, our Crypto.com visa card program grew to become the most widely available card of its kind. We know that travel perks are a highly sought-after benefit.”
Travala and Airbnb are two other travel companies that have started to embrace cryptocurrency. In November, Airbnb stated that they are interested in integrating emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and tokenization.