The past few months have been extremely challenging. There’s no denying that. All around the world, hosts had to deal with a significant increase in cancelations.
In this monthly digest, we’re the bearers of good news. Both AirDNA and TripAdvisor have completed research and their findings indicate that domestic travel is starting to pick up in certain places.
Therefore, before you want to write off 2020 entirely, remember that we’ve only hit halfway mark now. And, speaking of the half, it’s always better to look at the glass as half full. Who knows? 2020 might still turn out to be one of your best years yet… Let’s find out more about the signs of optimism.
As part of a plan to boost domestic travel, Airbnb has initiated a couple of partnerships. Some of the organizations that they will be working with include the National Park Foundation (USA), Wesgro (South Africa), and Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (UAE).
To encourage domestic travel, Airbnb will update their app and website to feature local travel ideas and nearby destinations. A social media and email campaign that will market nearby destinations is also on the cards.
That being said, Airbnb will continue to adhere to the guidelines provided by local officials to ensure that guests travel responsibly. They have, for example, worked with former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy who has helped them to create a step-by-step cleaning manual for hosts.
According to a report released by AirDNA, short-term rental bookings in the US have enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 20%! The majority of destinations that are within driving distance of main urban centers are some of the places that have benefited the most. States that have enjoyed the biggest increases include Delaware, West Virginia, Arkansas, and South Dakota.
Scott Shatford, the CEO of AirDNA commented, “We were amazed to see that despite the plummet in travel worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak when you look at the statistics year-on-year, short-term rental bookings have made an exceptional comeback.”
Though, sadly, not all states have seen a rebound in short-term rentals yet. New York, Illinois, and Hawaii are some of the states that are still battling to match 2019’s reservations for this period. In fact, Hawaii has reported that its total occupancy from last year has dropped by almost 70%.
After studying consumer travel sentiment over a period of a couple of months, TripAdvisor is ready to share its findings. In their research paper, “Beyond Covid-19: The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry”, they discuss how the pandemic has changed travel behavior and also drafts a five-stage recovery for the travel sector. According to their research, there are five stages of the recovery process namely decline, plateau, emerge, domestic travel, and international travel.
Kanika Soni, the CCO of TripAdvisor has shared her optimism about the signs of recovery. For example, about 40% of consumers have indicated that they still plan to complete the same number of trips (if not more) than the previous year.
Airbnb has joined forces with well-known brands like TikTok to offer a wider variety of experiences. By means of Zoom, travelers can take part in projects like cooking classes, and even a virtual Pride week.
Furthermore, while the Olympics might have been postponed to 2021, travelers can still connect off the track with Olympic idols like Lauren Gibbs and Alistair Brownlee. It sounds like the ultimate backstage pass.
If the theatre is more your scene, members of Broadway will also offer a closer look at some of their productions.
In April, Airbnb has introduced its Enhanced Cleaning Protocol initiatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To support hosts, they have now also published a handbook instructing hosts on how to best sanitize and clean their rentals. In this handbook, hosts will find more information about how to use personal protective equipment, which supplies to use, and what exactly to sanitize.
Another initiative that they introduced is blocking out dates between reservations for a period of up to three days.
The European Covid-19 Travel Alliance, which includes big-name online travel agencies like Trivago and Booking.com, has teamed up to compile a Covid-19 Travel database. The main idea is to compile data to help stakeholders better grasp restrictions that affect specific destinations. The plan is to include restrictions impacting restaurants and bars as well. Travel providers will be able to share this data for free on their websites. The goal of this project is to help the travel industry bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The search is on for the favorite family-friendly destination in the UK! HomeAway UK has introduced a campaign to find the most popular destination among British families. There are three categories namely urban, rural, and seaside. Some of the criteria are entertainment options, cleanliness, and safety. The hope is that this competition will help to drive staycations and make it easier for domestic travel to bounce back. The three winners will be announced on 8 July 2020.