AirDNA report: How mid-term stays may rescue the short-term sector

Barcelona: A report published by global short-term rental data firm AirDNA reveals that mid-term stays might represent the key to the recovery of the vacation rental sector. 

Pivoting from its ‘short-term’ roots, 50 per cent of nights booked globally on short-term rental platform Airbnb have been for stays of over two weeks.

In March, travel and hospitality faced arguably its most challenging period in history in the wake of a deluge of cancellations and new bookings. Graphs published by AirDNA depicted dramatic crashes in short-term rental revenue, with reverberations that have been felt across the globe.

However, AirDNA’s Mid-Term Stay report published last week found that, encouraged by the company’s changes in tone and positioning, Airbnb hosts are rising to the challenge by embracing mid-term stays. Guest demand for month-long bookings has grown as short-term rental platforms are increasingly becoming a suitable option for guests, that perhaps due to family or work commitments, are seeking to secure medium and long-term accommodation – and urgently.

Key takeaways of AirDNA’s Mid-Term Stay Report:

  • Since w/b 17 February 2020, the average global length of stay has increased from 3.3 days to 7.7 days – an increase of 133 per cent. One to seven-day reservations – a segment that normally comprises almost 80 per cent of all nights booked – now accounts for only 30 per cent.

  • Prior to the coronavirus crisis, just 30 per cent of rentals had a booking lead time of fewer than seven days. In mid-March, that number shot up to 75 per cent.

  • As of now, only 48 per cent of global listings currently implement a weekly or monthly discount. In the United States, hosts who offer discounts achieve on average 27 per cent higher occupancy rates than those who do not.

Offering some light at the end of the tunnel, AirDNA’s report reveals that the hosts willing to adjust their listing and pricing tactics are better positioned to navigate the post-crisis landscape. The current success of the mid-term rental trend might also offer us a glimpse of how traditionally short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb might be utilised in the future.

AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford said: “There is no doubt that the wave of cancellations in March felt like a tsunami for many hosts. It’s uplifting to see that Airbnb hosts are using innovative thinking to adapt, stay afloat and remain competitive in their short-term rental market.

“Although we still have a long way to go, we’re hoping that this trend may help the short-term rental sector in its gradual return to normalcy. And as always, data is key to understanding these fluctuations in demand and booking behaviour,” he added.

Last week, the data provider announced it was adding a number of new features to its flagship tool MarketMinder which seek to empower users to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Airbnb and the short-term rental industry worldwide.

To read the full report, visit the link at the AirDNA website here.