June 15, 2022
The past couple of years triggered an unstoppable demand for vacation rentals, and this hot trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon. We’re set to see another record-breaking year for the sector with data showing 86% of travelers plan to book at least one vacation rental in 2022.
The growing popularity of vacation rentals as a top accommodation choice has set off a chain reaction in guest expectations. These expectations drive industry trends and scaling inventory numbers – as property managers scramble to expand portfolios and more homeowners sign up for a piece of the promising profits.
So, how do you appeal to guests in a fast-paced sector with new competitors joining the market daily? Step one: know your guest by treating industry trends as a roadmap to success.
7 most popular trends in vacation rentals right now:
The big family get-together
This is the year of the big family get-together (BFG). Many are now choosing to travel in large groups with extended family members and friends to reconnect. They’ll be looking for rentals with large communal spaces and seating areas where they can make the most of their time together.
The predictions were right, remote working has become a long-term trend – maybe even our new way of life? Some say there’s been a huge societal shift in the US as by the end of the year a quarter of all professional jobs in North America will be remote, with the possibility of a further increase next year.
And as travel increases, we’ll likely see more and more guests mixing their work with vacationing. Making space in your rentals for the separation between these two activities, such as a working space or a closed-off sleeping area, will appeal to guests who are trying to balance their priorities.
Both activity and lodging providers can profit from this opportunity. Traveling families may be swayed by packages including family-friendly attractions, so the adult guests can take turns in getting a few hours of work done during their trip.
AirDNA confirms we’ll continue to see the average length of stay increase in 2022. In the US alone this has already doubled compared to two years ago. It’s likely this trend is being driven by remote workers and large groups of travelers making up for lost time.
Extended stay guests will be on the lookout for rentals that feel like home, with separate bedrooms for privacy and familiar features such as smart home tech. Since 25% of US households have at least one Amazon Alexa device, lodging providers can mimic a familiar at-home feature easily with Xplorie’s SmartHost, an Amazon device equipped with Xplorie’s SmartHost virtual concierge tech.
In the past travelers have preferred to ‘see what happens when they get there as a bid to explore cultures in a more authentic way, this year we’re likely to see the opposite. Those taking long-awaited or postponed trips may turn to packages that plan everything for them in order to get the best out of their vacation.
Almost two-thirds of millennials would pay for someone else to plan their trip/excursions. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste, add value to your accommodation with discounts to local attractions and attract guests looking for help planning their trip. When property managers join the Xplorie program, you can offer free passes to activities at no extra cost to your guests.
Whilst urban destinations are set to recover fully by the end of next year, some travelers are still choosing rural locations and continue to favor quiet, relaxing places to unwind in nature beyond the enclosed structure of a busy city.
So, don’t forget about slower-paced activities, such as hiking or a museum tour, for those wanting to destress.
Like remote working, sustainability will likely be a continuous trend. After all, the only way to achieve true sustainability is to put in long-term efforts. Guests are acutely aware of this global issue, particularly younger generations, and seek ways to travel with less environmental impact.
Meet these expectations by ingraining eco ways of working into your business – for example, partnering with local activity providers or lodging providers and contributing to the surrounding economy while offering sustainable day trips to travelers.
Pent-up wanderlust will finally be fulfilled as travelers use saved-up dollars to go all out on immersive experiences. Expect to see guests hungry for adventures, especially those from Gen Z.
Entice the 80% of US travelers who take part in activities, tours, or attractions when on vacation with included nearby activities, such as biking, skiing, white water rafting, or parasailing.
There’s only one main message you need to take away to up your bookability this coming summer season: give guests the vacation they are looking for. Whether it’s a slow and quiet, adventurous and wild, or a balanced and productive vacation, use industry trends and technology to show your guests you really know what they want.
Xplorie is the leading platform in guest acquisition and retention solutions for leisure lodging providers. Since 1996, Xplorie has leveraged local and complementary activities to help lodging providers differentiate their properties, improve guest loyalty and increase top-line revenue. To learn more about how Xplorie enables lodging providers to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience to guests, visit xplorie.com/partner.