Spain: Peter Jarvis, head of international markets for Spain-Holiday.com, pinpoints why the holiday rental market is set to blossom in the coronavirus era.
Countless Brits bade adios to their dream of booking a Spanish villa and private pool this summer, as the United Kingdom went into lockdown in March. While the travel industry was catapulted into a tailspin, Spain’s holiday rental industry was spared the worst of the turbulence and trends are, so-far, predicting continued sector growth.
To be exact, Spain’s private holiday rental sector is seeing the fastest year-on-year growth in the country’s tourism industry. For a third consecutive year, more visitors to Spain want to stay in a private villa rather than in a hotel, aided in part by tourists wishing to holiday in spacious accommodation during the pandemic.
As holidaymakers adjust to the ‘new normal’, hygiene, security and peace of mind have shot to the top of our holiday tick-lists, drawing more tourists than ever towards self-catered accommodation. This emerging new trend has highlighted that increased privacy, flexibility to plan holidays without fixed timetables, independence to live like a local and – perhaps more importantly than ever in current climes – formidable value for money, are key reasons that self-catering rentals are the go-to choice for upcoming travels.
The province of Alicante has seen a significant increase in interest from Brits compared to 2019, but the biggest winners were rural areas in north west Spain, perhaps due to its wild beaches, secluded countryside and relatively safe distance from Covid-19 flare-ups. Meanwhile, the Balearic and Canary Islands, as well as the Costa Brava, Costa Barcelona, Costa Dorada and Costa del Azahar, all saw a drop in their market share, as tourists shied away from bustling population centres.
This spike in desire for open space sees itself reflected in trends for the type of rental properties popular in Spain. In 2020, Spain-Holiday.com has seen an increased interest in villas versus apartments compared to 2019, again attesting to the new importance tourists are placing on space and privacy.
Across the whole of Spain, 83 per cent of holiday rental properties available are villas [49 per cent] and apartments [34 per cent]. Town and country houses follow behind with a ten per cent share of supply and the remaining seven per cent are all other types of accommodation, from cottages to bungalows.
Indeed, it seems that the secret to Spain’s holiday rental success lies in its property sizes. According to a report generated by Spain-Holiday.com in 2020, the most popular option for holiday rentals are properties catering to larger groups of families and friends wishing to holiday together. Over half of respondents [58 per cent] wanted accommodation which catered for four and above adults, while only 16 per cent wanted accommodation to host small parties of three adults or less.
With an abundance of properties that cater to larger groups of travellers, the Spanish holiday rental sector has hit the sweet spot of current consumer needs. Currently, 60 per cent of holiday homes available across Spain have capacity for between four and six guests. The province of Malaga, which lies in the tourist hotspot of the Costa del Sol, sports the highest number of holiday homes available to host more than six guests, catering perfectly to British consumer desires in the post-pandemic era.
With the rise in demand for properties hosting a larger number of guests, more homeowners with bigger properties are advertising on Spain-Holiday.com than ever before.
The travel industry and business owners in this sector undoubtedly face many challenges in their immediate future, however growth witnessed so far in 2020 shows positive signs of future recovery in the vacation rental sector. When the travel quarantine for Spain was temporarily lifted in July, Spain-Holiday witnessed the busiest day of enquiries in the company’s 18-year history and we remain positive that we can restoke the fire when travel to Spain is once again unencumbered.
In the meantime, it is critical that tourism businesses take this time to pinpoint exactly where opportunities for growth currently lie, adapt accordingly and look forward to the day that travel is open once again to sun-starved Brits.
Spain-Holiday.com, founded by Claus Sorensen in 2002, focuses on advertising holiday rental properties in Spain in more than 13 languages. The platform strives to earn our homeowners’ and travellers’ trust by the means of secure technology, specialised knowledge as well as personal and friendly service.