Airbtics: European cities with the greatest rental recoveries from Covid-19

Worldwide: Hannah Mandapat, marketing executive at Airbnb analytics platform Airbtics, highlights the ten European cities which saw the highest rebounds in vacation rental bookings in August after the steep drop seen during the first stages of the pandemic in the continent.

We all know Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the vacation rental industry and with several countries already experiencing the start of a second wave, it looks to continue doing so.

But while we at Airbtics saw a massive drop in the number of Airbnb bookings across the continent between April and June, with the help of the summer heat and continued lifting of social distancing restrictions, vacation rentals in some cities are showing resilience, with Airbnb bookings jumping back up.

Data in August this year from Airbnb analytics platform Airbtics show which European cities are recovering well from Covid-19. The data show the cities with the most significant growth in vacation rental bookings are in France, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

[ per cent – the number of bookings in comparison to August 2019] 100 per cent means that the occupancy rate was exactly the same this year August compared to August 2019.


With the ever-changing quarantine rules for travellers and international flights getting cancelled left, right and centre with little notice, many French vacationers have flooded to the historic cities in the sunny, scenic southern parts of France for their summer getaway. The removal of the two-week quarantine for foreign visitors from their European neighbours also means land travel is possible to these cities without concerns about flights being cancelled. The increased rate of travel in this region had such a positive impact that Airbnb bookings in Avignon and Carcassonne have exceeded the number of bookings from last year.

  1. Avignon [120.93 per cent]
  2. Carcassonne [111.6 per cent]
  3. Nice [79.97 per cent]

The town of Zandvoort, the biggest beach resort destination in the Netherlands just west of the capital Amsterdam, recovered well this summer and surpassed its last year record with a 12.67 per cent growth. Although still behind pre-Covid levels, the Dutch capital itself has also been doing very well in its recovery. But as in many other countries across the world are experiencing, the low number of bookings in the busy and crowded capital can be attributed to social distancing restrictions, as seen with Hanoi [16.73 per cent], Bangkok [18.03 per cent] and Tbilisi [19.17 per cent] having some of the lowest rates this year.

4. Zandvoort [112.67 per cent]

5. Amsterdam [76.97 per cent]

United Kingdom

With countries being added or removed from the travel corridor list frequently, many people in the UK have had to cancel their summer vacation plans abroad for fear of the 14-day quarantine that might be imposed on them when they return. But not wanting their holiday time to go to waste, they head on to popular destinations down south. And the heavy endorsement by the government of its ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme in August for the hospitality industry [50 per cent] off orders when you dine in a registered food establishment] may have also helped alleviate the anxiety about going out. Together, this helped popular seaside destinations such as Cornwall and Brighton get back to their pre-Covid level.

6. Cornwall [97.73 per cent]

7. Brighton [94.13 per cent]


The continuing strict Covid-19 measures in Germany meant that recovery was a little slower compared to the other cities mentioned so far, but the rapid response by the German government from the beginning of the year allowed people to feel more reassured about their health and safety. The growth in the number of Airbnb bookings was seen in some of the largest and most populated German cities such as Munich and Hamburg.

8. Munich [84.17 per cent]

9. Hamburg [83.33 per cent]


​Overall, Italy’s Airbnb and vacation rental industry is still relatively down due to the virus, but island destination Sicily seems to be faring well and recovered faster this summer compared to the mainland cities. The island’s local authority hopes its upcoming ‘See Sicily’ voucher programme, which would provide discounts on hotels and free entries to museums and archaeological sites, will further entice visitors to the island.

10. Sicily [78.87 per cent]


Although we observed some uptick in Airbnb bookings, when it comes to the global pandemic, we are certainly not out of the woods yet. Many hosts and travellers are playing things by ear, and with many regions experiencing the beginning of a second wave, things will not settle anytime soon. The way the Airbnb data reflects the different responses and measures taken by the regions is very interesting, and how this will change for the last few months of the year will be intriguing.

Hannah Mandapat is a marketing professional based in London, UK with a deep passion for SaaS, vacation rental and data analytics. Visit the Airbtics website at this link.