Excitement is in the air! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve – all important events on the vacation rental calendar – are around the corner.
This year, guests aren’t leaving their bookings for the last minute. Travel app downloads have skyrocketed, and data suggests that guests are booking in advance for these special occasions.
Here are the main headlines that dominated the vacation rental industry this past month.
The Expedia Group will consolidate and grow the respective loyalty programs across its different brands into a single rewards platform. According to the group, they have over 145 million members in the different rewards programs. Moving forward, these members will be able to take advantage of special pricing discounts and upgrades. These special offers will not only apply to vacation rentals, but also to hotel accommodation, activities, flights, cruises, and car rentals.
According to the group, members have already saved almost $10 billion just on travel. Members will be able to join this new unified program free of charge.
In 2021 Q2, travel app downloads were calculated at 143 million installs. This includes vacation rental apps, hotel booking apps, and full-service travel aggregators apps, with vacation rental apps boasting the most downloads.
Between January and August of this year, Airbnb alone was installed more than six million times. Booking.com was also popular. For the same period, the app boasted 1.7 million downloads per month on average. What’s even more impressive is that during July, Booking.com boasted nearly 3 million downloads in Europe alone. This number was even higher than the pre-pandemic peak period!
After a slight decrease in August, AirDNA data indicates that the demand for vacation rentals in the US has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Nights booked for Q4 2021 are already almost 13% higher compared to 2019. Bookings specifically for Thanksgiving are a whopping 65% higher compared to 2020, while the number is also 30% higher than 2019. Christmas and New Year’s are following a similar pattern, with bookings for this week almost 90% higher compared to last year.
This increase in bookings has also had a positive impact on rates for hosts. According to its data, rates are about a third higher compared to 2019.
Destinations known for their ski slopes like Aspen, Telluride, and Park City are some of the most expensive markets, while Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach, and the Ozark Mountains are a few of the best markets for new properties. What’s more, with the lifting of US-UK/EU travel bans from November, urban markets are also expected to enjoy an increase in bookings.
Vrbo data also shows that there is a high demand for vacation homes in ski destinations. Compared to 2019, the platform has seen an increase of more than 40% in demand for ski destinations this year. That being said, Winter Park, Colorado, Mammoth Lakes, California, Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania and Gatlinburg, Tennessee all still have over 65% of their vacation homes available.
AirDNA, a short-term rental data and analytics provider, has released its first European Monthly Market Review. Now, industry stakeholders operating in Europe will also be able to gain a comprehensive view of how the short-term rental industry performs. Scott Shatford, the CEO of AirDNA, explains, “Holiday rentals in Europe represent a strong market share, so we want to report consistently on what’s happening as they cross firmly from recovery into expansion territory.”
The report revealed that domestic tourism was driving the recovery. For example, in France, over 50% of its short-term rental demand was created by domestic travelers. However, while the booked short-term rental demand for the remainder of the year was better than the same period last year, it was still lower for most other European countries compared to 2019.
Anyplace, a flexible housing marketplace, has introduced Anyplace Select, apartments aimed specifically at remote workers. According to the marketplace, hotels and vacation rentals often do not cater adequately for the requirements of remote workers. For example, these types of accommodation might lack a workspace or fast Wi-Fi.
Now, Anyplace’s accommodation will make it easier for remote workers by offering high-speed internet, a comfortable chair, and an adjustable standing desk, amenities that other rentals often lack. What’s more, Anyplace Select units will also include office equipment like an ultra-wide monitor, keyboard, mouse, webcam, green screen, etc.
At this stage, these apartments are available only in New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. However, extra properties in other US locations will be made available later this autumn.
Founded in 2016, Vegvisits, a global online booking platform aimed at vegan travelers, has relaunched its website. It is now active in over 80 countries and boasts more than 1,000 listings on its website.
With its relaunched site, it hopes to boost its growth plans by connecting with the whole vegan and vegetarian community. From single rooms to retreats to entire homes, there is a wide range of accommodation offered by vegan and vegetarian locals.
Though, it focuses on more than merely offering a place to rest your head. Instead, it also encourages hosts to offer extra services and to share more about their lifestyle choices.
In order to list on Vegvisits, hosts must keep their property free of seafood and meat for the duration of the guest’s stay. Hosts are charged 3% to 4%, while guests are charged between 6% and 12%.
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