Global rental bookings jump by 127 per cent with surge in domestic tourism

Worldwide: Vacation rental data firm AirDNA has released its latest report which details how the short-term rental industry is beginning to bounce back to pre-COVID levels, including a sharp 127 per cent climb in new bookings made on Airbnb and Vrbo in a six-week sprint across the globe as travellers see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Specifically, vacation rentals in leisure, drive-to destinations are leading the tourism industry in its ascent to recovery after hitting rock bottom in early April.

  • Worldwide, new bookings [for any date in the future] increased from 916,000 in the week beginning 5 April to 2.08 million in the week beginning 18 May 2020.

AirDNA’s report reveals that vacation rentals in locations such as beaches, ski resorts, and mountains are proving particularly popular, experiencing the highest growth in new bookings.

In the United States, rentals near the beaches of Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and the Carolinas will be the first to benefit, enjoying a significant average growth in new bookings: 968 per cent.

Across the pond in Europe, Nice, Marseille and Naples are among the markets with the highest number of new bookings. In Oceania, Queenstown and Blue Mountains have both seen new booking booms of over 900 per cent, whereas by comparison, urban metropolitan areas are seeing a sluggish recovery.

Utilising AirDNA’s Guest Origin data, the report also found that travel-starved guests are choosing domestic destinations close to home.

Across the board, travel distances are now a fraction of what they were before the coronavirus. In a selection of 40 cities across Europe and the United States, the average distance travelled has decreased by 74 per cent.

  • In the United States, cities with more domestic travellers are averaging a rebound rate of 92 per cent, while those more reliant on international guests are averaging just 57 per cent.

  • In Europe, cities with more domestic travellers are averaging a rebound rate of 57 per cent, while those more reliant on international guests are averaging just 49 per cent.

The data is resoundingly clear: guests are making reservations for vacation rentals. But the question remains exactly when these guests are booking for.

AirDNA’s report has found that in the United States, while on average, short-term rental revenue is far below summer 2019 levels, revenue begins to return to normalcy in September of this year. This suggests that despite lockdowns and travel restrictions, guests are actively making reservations for the end-of-year holiday season.

CEO Scott Shatford said: “I am ecstatic to see that vacation rental bookings might soon match pre-Covid levels. We hope this indicates that the industry has turned a corner and that the travel sector as a whole can look forward to a brighter future.

“The vacation rental industry has been quick to mobilise against the virus, offering mid-term stays, self check-in and stringent cleaning regimens. Guests have clearly returned in kind, confident in the space, safety and comfort that vacation rentals offer over traditional forms of accommodation,” he added.

To read the full report, visit the link here.