It is amazing the difference that a year can make. This time last year, we reported about the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry. Airbnb had to pause all Airbnb Experiences and update its Extenuating Circumstances policy.
Fast-forward to a year later and there is a new optimism in the air. Now, across the world, most of the headlines focus on COVID-19 vaccines that are being rolled out in different countries. As many of the headlines in our digest show, bookings are starting to pick up again. For example, in the United States, Vrbo has reported that senior citizens are ready to travel again. All in all, it is a huge moment, not just for the short-term rental industry, but for humanity as a whole too.
Earlier this month, iGMS had its first event on the Clubhouse app. The event, “The Future of Travel and the STR Industry in 2021”, attracted many experienced as well as beginner hosts. The panelists included Jasper Ribbers (author of Get Paid For Your Pad and co-founder of Overnight Success as well as STR Profit Academy), Richie Khandelwal (co-founder of PriceLabs), Julie George (author of Million Dollar Host), and our very own CMO, Inna Shevchenko.
After a general discussion with the panelists, there was a very lively Q&A session. From vacation rental automation to marketing, the hosts asked a variety of questions. After hosting our first successful event, we can certainly see the value of these events. We will continue to be active on Clubhouse and are looking forward to other relevant sessions. If you weren’t able to join the Clubhouse session, feel free to watch the recording.
According to Which?, a UK-based organization with the aim of protecting consumers, the rates of holiday lets are up by up to 140% in some coastal destinations in the United Kingdom. Their data has further indicated that in ten of the most popular destinations for staycations, the rates on both Vrbo and Airbnb have increased.
While this is great news for hosts in the UK, Rory Boland, the travel editor of Which? advised hosts to ensure that they provide booking terms that are fair and flexible. He explained, “If [travelers] are prepared to pay more for their summer holidays this year, it’s essential that they know their money will be protected or returned to them without hassle in the event they cannot travel as planned.”
AirDNA’s latest review has shown that the short-term rental industry in the United States has experienced mixed results. While February was the best month for new bookings, it was also the worst performance for demand. Last month, the demand for short-term rentals decreased by almost a third compared to a year ago. Urban areas were affected worse than suburban areas, with areas in California, New York, and San Francisco suffering the most.
According to Goboony, an RV rental agency and motorhome rental specialist, there has been an increase of about 30% in bookings for motorhomes in the United Kingdom. Mark de Vos, the CEO and co-founder of the company, attributes this increase to the pandemic and Brexit.
He explains, “The motorhome vacation is an ideal, safe alternative option for staycationers, and is quickly carving itself a permanent position within the travel and tourism industry landscape.” According to him, staycations appear to be this year’s major trend (which also correlates with what our Vacation Rental Industry Trends for 2021 Report has revealed).
Increasingly more senior citizens are eager to take to the road again. Vrbo attributes this increase in demand to the fact that many seniors have now received their vaccinations.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 60% of citizens age 65 and up have received their first doses of the vaccine. Jeff Hurst, the president of Vrbo, adds that he expects the increase in demand for short-term rentals in the United States to continue as more citizens get vaccinated and travel restrictions are expected to be eased.
To help future hosts find out more about how much their property could possibly generate via Airbnb, the platform has launched a new interactive tool. The What’s My Place Worth tool works out the estimated income by taking into account factors like geography, space, and the listing type. Airbnb hopes that with this tool new hosts can take advantage of travel that is on the rebound.
In a recent article, Airbnb has shared advice from a few of the top Superhosts about how to generate more bookings. One of the tips that stood out was that guests are searching for properties that will allow them to work remotely. As a result, amenities such as Wi-Fi and a laptop-friendly workspace are crucial.
Pet-friendly listings have also become a lot more popular. Compared to last year, searches for pet-friendly listings increased by 65%. So, if you have a property that boasts a garden or outdoor space, it will be a smart move to allow pets if you don’t do so already. Airbnb predicts that hosts who welcome furry friends will enjoy an increase of 6% in bookings in the next year.
Netflix and Vrbo have joined forces to provide ridiculously affordable nightly rates for certain vacation rentals situated across the United States. In fact, some of these family holidays can be booked for as little as $20.
The inspiration behind this campaign comes from a Netflix movie, “Yes Day”. Lish Kennedy, the vice president of Vrbo’s global brand marketing, explains, “We handpicked some of the coolest vacation homes for Yes Day Stays to make sure kids can have the most unforgettable Yes Day with their families.”
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