Travel Confidence is On the Rise!
The majority of industry professionals are being far from complacent in their behaviors. The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated and advanced many procedures, technologies and trends in the industry. Many vacation rentals now have a virtual concierge service (no more grubby binders), contact-less direct check-in, occupancy sensors and everything the guest needs for their stay digitally at their fingertips. You can browse and book tours and activities on your phone, reserve your ski resort parking online, scan and view restaurant menus and so much more, all thanks to this boost in technology.
Looking forward, with this promising news of a 95% effective COVID-19 vaccination comes a rise in consumer travel confidence, an increase in short-term rental bookings and a glimpse of optimism in the travel industry and vacation rental market. Booking platforms have seen a substantial increase in travel searches since news of the vaccine broke, and travelers are far more confident to booking their future vacations with renewed hope.
There’s good vacation vibes all round and recent research by Guesty shows that short-term rentals are outperforming the expectations, which looks promising for the future of the vacation rental industry. Is this controversial vaccine the turning point the travel industry needs?
- In the week following news of the vaccination there was an increase of 7% in first quarter 2021 short-term rental reservations and a 9% increase in reservation volume, across the globe.
- Travelers are still uncertain yet impulsive, making last minute bookings. The numbers show that 15% of November bookings were made on the same day, 32% of bookings are made within one to seven days and 30% of bookings are made eight to 30 days from date of arrival.
- Another emerging travel trend is the increase in rental rates and length of stay. The average nightly rate is 3.5% higher than last year with guests comfortable paying more for a safer stay. The average nightly stay has increased from 4 to 6 days with workcations, staycations and extended family escapes on the rise.
- Travelers are not staying home for the holidays. The report shows that reservation volume was 14% higher for Thanksgiving and 27% higher for Labor Day than in previous years. While the numbers for Christmas and New Year peak seasons are showing lower than this time last year, with last minute bookings on the rise and a boost in traveler confidence post-vaccine, hopefully these figures will change.
- A survey by Allianz Travel of 4,300 of their customers found that 49% of travelers would be willing to travel after the release of a proven COVID vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine could not have come at a better time as the US cases exceed 17 million and a recent record was set for the highest number of cases in one day with 232,086 cases being recorded. While this vaccine is controversial to many, millions of people are enthusiastic to take the jab in the hopes to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Should these medical advances prove to be as effective as suggested, the COVID-19 vaccination will change the face of travel forever. Projections indicate it could take years for the vaccines to be distributed across the globe. But, if it’s a requirement to board a plane, book a vacation home or visit a destination, how many will be willing to take the risk or will a negative test be sufficient for travel? While promising vaccines may put travelers at ease they bring with them a variety of procedural questions for the industry in 2021.