Canada: All-in-one vacation rental management company Hostaway has released new data detailing an increase in direct bookings for vacation rentals over the last three years.
Direct bookings have had a significant uptick since 2020, despite other trends “normalising” to pre-Covid levels. On Hostaway’s platform, the proportion of direct bookings against total bookings globally increased from an average of 7.8 per cent in the last quarter of 2019, to 13.5 per cent in 2020 and to 16.8 per cent in 2022.
The value of direct bookings, processed through the Hostaway platform, quadrupled between January and December 2021.
Marcus Rader, co-founder and CEO of Hostaway, said: “In general, consumer behaviours take a long time to change, but our data is showing that this is not the case with direct bookings right now. Guests are booking directly with property managers and this trend is accelerating. We see this trend as coming from the property operators.
“They have become far savvier with their marketing strategies and software. This has in turn been attracting more value-driven and experience-driven guests who are happy to shop around for the best vacation rental. Once they’ve had a positive experience booking directly, they’ll continue to do so again.
“For this reason, we don’t expect direct bookings to drop below pre-pandemic levels,” he added.
The increase in this trend had gradually begun before the pandemic, and grown exponentially despite cancellation policies enforced from OTA’s during this period.
At the same time, Hostaway has unveiled a new upgrade to its website builder that helps property managers to create promotions, reward repeat guests and attract more direct bookings. The free tool is available to customers through Hostaway’s marketplace.