Many hosts and property managers sighed a relief in 2021 after the harrowing year that rocked the industry in 2020. Based on the signs of recovery, we trust and hope that 2022 will continue to be kinder and that the vacation rental industry will continue to rebound.
Earlier this month, the US celebrated Martin Lurther King Jr. Day. So, it is only fitting to include his quote about improvement: “The time is always right to do what is right.” In the new year, may you always know what the right moves are that will help your vacation rental business to grow and prosper beyond your wildest dreams.
AirDNA’s December review revealed that 2021 was in fact the best year for short-term rentals in the US. While the year was off to a modest start, bookings started to pick up in March. According to their data, short-term rental nights booked increased by more than 20% compared to 2020. In fact, it reached a record high of just over 61%.
Before you get too excited, the short-term rental data provider anticipates that the occupancy rates will decrease in 2022. This prediction is in light of the fact that there will be more rentals on the market and booking patterns will start to return to normal. Though, as of January 2022, it looks like hosts and property managers can still look forward to a very strong year.
In January, Airbnb announced that the platform is planning to launch a guest travel insurance package and a Guest COVID Support Program of $20 million. To date, the platform has followed a consumer-friendly approach to deal with cancelations due to COVID-19. For example, a guest who tests positive for the virus may cancel their trip and receive a full refund even if it does not meet the cancelation policy of the host.
In the light of the Omicron variant that caused a lot of cancelations over the festive season, Airbnb has decided to implement the Airbnb Guest Travel Insurance. It is a custom-built guest travel insurance product that will be made available exclusively to Airbnb guests. The launch date for this new product is expected to be Spring 2022. Until that time, the platform continues to advise travelers to get their own third-party travel insurance.
In the meantime, they are introducing the Guest COVID Support Program. The aim of this program is to offer relief to guests who are unable to continue with a booked reservation because of travel restrictions. The platform will offer a travel coupon for 50% of the cost of the payment that was not refunded. Airbnb has set aside $20 million to fund this new initiative.
Using vacation rental demand, Vrbo has shared a list of its top drive-to destinations for the new year. A recent spike in COVID-19 cases and changes to travel restrictions have meant that more travelers have once again chosen destinations that are within driving distance.
A spokesperson at the vacation rental platform, Alison Kwong, explains, “From every major region of the country, travelers can find a popular vacation destination within 300 miles on Vrbo, which is about a 3-4 hour car ride.”
Here are some of the top drive-to spots from the main metro areas:
In its 2022 Vrbo Trend Report that it released toward the end of 2021, it also included other up-and-coming destinations. In fact, according to their data, destinations in Ohio, Alaska, and New York almost doubled their demand in 2021.
According to Booking.com’s data, more than 70% of American travelers are open to any vacation opportunity if it fits their budget. As a matter of fact, over 60% of these travelers do not even care what the destination is as long as it is the kind of trip that they had in mind.
While Americans are pretty flexible with regards to the destination, the following were some of the top vacation destinations over the most recent holiday season:
The directors of the Destinationaire Awards and The Book Direct Show have shared that they will host a collaborative event in October 2022. The two-day hybrid event will take place in Miami, Florida from 18-19 October.
The conference will be a unique event that will focus on direct booking education and short-term rental property management. After the conference, there will also be a day of in-depth workshops. During the workshops, participants can discover more practical ways of getting direct bookings.
The Book Direct Show’s director, Damian Sheridan, commented, “We’re thrilled to announce this collaboration for 2022 with Wil Slickers and the Destinationaire Awards team. The Book Direct Show will now not only provide the best #BookDirect education on the conference calendar but, in conjunction with this unique awards ceremony, will also recognize the outstanding hospitality providers in our industry.”
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