71 per cent of travellers plan vacation rental stay in the next 18 months

Worldwide: Travel insurance and assistance brand Europ Assistance, and its subsidiary, Generali Global Assistance, have announced the international findings of its first Vacation Rental Barometer.

Europ Assistance and Generali Global Assistance surveyed 8,700 travellers across eight countries in the United States and Europe from 28 February to 1 April 2021. The survey respondents, who indicated they would be travelling in the next 18 months and planned to book a vacation rental, were surveyed on their booking preferences, travel habits, and changing adoption and utilisation of vacation rentals.

Francine Abgrall, Group Head of Travel at Europ Assistance: “Throughout the pandemic, vacation rental has been one travel sector that has been less negatively impacted than others. As the overall travel industry prepares for travel to pick up, we wanted to know the sentiments of travellers about their upcoming travel plans and in particular whether the favourable trend towards vacation rental would persist.

“We felt it was important to gauge the sentiment of the average traveller to provide ourselves and our partners, leaders in the vacation rental booking industry, with valuable insights. Overall the travellers we surveyed are excited to travel again, while Europeans indicated they would prefer to travel abroad Americans opted to stay closer to home.

“When deciding what type of accommodation they would like on their next trip, 71 per cent indicated they would book a vacation rental,” she added.

Generali Global Assistance CEO Chris Carnicelli said: “Given the pent-up demand for travel, it’s not surprising that approximately 80 per cent of respondents indicated that they planned to travel in the next 18 months. Based on the findings of our Vacation Rental Barometer and current industry trends, we anticipate that travellers will flock to vacation rentals as they look to have a relaxing socially distanced getaway.”

Among the key takeaways of the Vacation Rental Barometer were:

Upcoming travel plans
  • 71 per cent of travellers indicated they would book a vacation rental in the next 18 months
  • 47 per cent of Europeans are planning a summer trip [from July – September] compared to 35 per cent of Americans with summer being the most popular travel season among all respondents [45 per cent].
  • 23 per cent of Americans indicated they planned to travel this spring [from April – June] compared to 13 per cent of Europeans
  • 21 per cent of American travellers indicated they planned to travel this autumn / fall, while Europeans were more likely to wait until 2022 and beyond to plan their trip when compared to Americans [20 per cent vs 17 per cent].
Destination preferences
  • 49 per cent of all travellers surveyed indicated they planned to take their next trip domestically with Americans [71 per cent] the most likely to travel close to home
  • 55 per cent of European travellers on the other hand indicated that they plan to travel abroad
  • Travellers in Spain [57 per cent], Italy [54 per cent] and Portugal [51 per cent] opted to take their next trip domestically while more travellers in Belgium [29 per cent], Germany [39 per cent], the UK [40 per cent] and France [45 per cent] had plans to travel abroad
Accommodation preferences
  • 78 per cent of travellers said they were more likely to book a vacation rental above all other types of accommodation in the next 18 months and 86 per cent said they would be more likely to continue booking them after the pandemic
  • While 77 per cent of travellers indicated they would choose a vacation rental for leisure instead business [nine per cent], there was a significant minority [13 per cent] of digital nomads who indicated they would favour extended stays while working remotely
  • The top three motivations for choosing a vacation rental are 1) Comfort 2) Tranquility 3) Privacy
New travel habits
  • The top three criteria when picking a destination as a result of Covid: 1) Destination has clear cleaning protocols 2) How crowded the location gets 3) Who they travel with
  • Vaccine availability was most likely to impact travel plans for both Europeans [83 per cent] and Americans [82 per cent].
  • 66 per cent of Europeans and 64 per cent of Americans indicated that making Covid vaccinations mandatory to board a flight would not impact them as they already planned to take the vaccine
  • 21 per cent of European travellers who were undecided about taking the vaccine indicated they would consider it if it was mandatory to take a flight
Travel insurance preferences
  • 70 per cent of Europeans and 64 per cent of Americans indicated they would be more likely to purchase travel insurance as a result of the pandemic
  • 44 per cent of Europeans compared to 33 per cent had purchased travel insurance when booking a vacation rental in the past
  • The top three coverages that reassured travellers looking to book vacation rentals are: 1) Cancellation in the event of COVID infection or confinement [43 per cent] 2) Medical Assistance and repatriation [22 per cent] 3) Reimbursement of unused travel days in case their stay is interrupted [20 per cent]
  • 23 per cent of Americans favoured coverage for reimbursement for unused days compared to 20 per cent of Europeans
  • While Europeans [23 per cent] found more peace of mind from medical assistance and repatriation coverage compared to Americans [17 per cent]

From 28 February to 1 April 2021 through survey provider Phonic, Europ Assistance surveyed 8,700 online respondents who are planning to take a trip and are planning on booking a vacation rental in the next 18 months. The study consisted of 15 questions and was sampled within the United States, Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1963, Europ Assistance is part of the Generali Group, one of the world’s leading insurers.

Meanwhile, Generali Global Assistance is a leading brand comprised of Travel Insurance & Assistance, Medical Risk & Home Care Management, Identity & Cyber Protection, as well as other care services, and is part of the Generali Group.