Lodgify Lowdown

The Lodgify Lowdown – Vacation Rental News at a Glance – April 2023

As the weather warms up and travelers begin planning their next getaways, the vacation rental market is heating up as well. From new regulations to innovative technology, there’s always something exciting happening in this dynamic and ever-evolving industry.

In this month’s edition, we’ll be exploring the latest developments and sharing our opinions on what they mean for vacation rental hosts, guests, and industry professionals, including the latest updates from Airbnb, Expedia, and PriceLabs. Plus, we’ll look at Lodgify’s presence at the Short Stay Summit and much more!

So, whether you’re a seasoned vacation rental host or a curious traveler looking to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, let’s check out this month’s big news!

Airbnb is pausing new Experiences submissions

Airbnb has made a surprising move by putting a hold on all new Experiences submissions without any clear indication of when they will resume. The short-term rental giant confirmed this decision, stating that the pause is part of its efforts to perfect its core service.

airbnb experiences

It’s particularly interesting considering that Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky had previously expressed the company’s plans to develop their travel experiences, especially with the growing number of people working from home. However, the sudden pause in the Experiences offering contradicts this plan.

A sign of bigger changes to come?

Well, there are two ways to look at this. Firstly, this pause in new submissions could potentially lead to a shift in focus toward improving existing Experiences.

In a statement, Airbnb communicated that “As travel continues to recover from the pandemic and guests look to spend more on experiences again, the unique opportunity to connect through Airbnb Experiences is more important than ever. As part of our focus on perfecting the core service, including Airbnb Experiences, we are pausing submissions of all new Experiences.”

The other suggestion could be that Airbnb has decided not to invest further in this category, although this would represent a sudden change of heart. Perhaps the biggest clue lies in their closing sentence, “We are excited about the future of Airbnb Experiences and expect to provide more information in the coming months.” 

Team Lodgify rocks the Short Stay Summit in London!

The vacation rental industry is constantly evolving, and there’s no better place to catch a glimpse of its future than at the Short Stay Summit. Held in London on April 27, this gathering of industry leaders provided an opportunity to discuss the latest trends and innovations in the short-term rental market.

Lodgify’s very own Alex Vuilleumier took part in an absorbing and instructive panel on balancing marketing and distribution channels, along with other top vacation rental industry experts. Team Lodgify was also on hand to offer free consultations on improving website SEO.

team lodgify short stay summit

Thank you to all of the organizers for having us, our fellow panel members, and everyone who came by to speak to us!

Expedia turns to ChatGPT for trip planning

Expedia has just announced the beta launch of a new in-app travel planning experience, powered by artificial intelligence and ChatGPT. The new feature is designed to help travelers plan their trips in a more seamless and personalized way.

chatgpt and expedia

With this new feature, Expedia members can now have an open-ended conversation within the app and receive recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do, based on their chat. But the new trip planning experience goes beyond just providing recommendations. It also brings in intelligent shopping, automatically saving hotels discussed in the conversation to a “trip” in the app, which helps members stay organized and makes it easier for them to choose dates, check availability, and add on flights, cars, or activities.

Vacation recs from an AI travel agent?

It certainly seems like something from a Sci-Fi world, but we think this new feature has the potential to revolutionize the way guests plan their trips and book their accommodations. With the power of artificial intelligence, travelers can now receive customized recommendations and seamlessly book their entire trip in one place.

Of course, we’re very excited to see how many guests are willing to take vacation recommendations from an artificial travel agent. What could possibly go wrong?

Byron Bay advised to apply 60-day cap on short-term rentals

Byron Bay, a picturesque town located in New South Wales, has long been a magnet for tourists from all over the world. Its stunning beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and vibrant cultural scene have made it a popular vacation spot for both domestic and international travelers.

However, a recent call to curb holiday letting in the area has caused quite a stir among residents, local businesses, and vacation rental companies alike. The NSW Independent Planning Commission has suggested a two-month cap on short-term rentals in Byron Shire, arguing that it would help ease the cost-of-living pressures faced by residents and ensure that enough properties are available for long-term rentals.

byron bay

While this proposal may seem reasonable at first glance, it has sparked a heated debate among stakeholders in the vacation rental industry. Airbnb, one of the largest short-term rental companies operating in the area, has warned that such a cap could do more harm than good.

Airbnb Head of Public Policy for Australia and New Zealand Michael Crosby said, “Airbnb and our Byron Shire Host community were surprised and disappointed with the recommendation to introduce one of the harshest restrictions on short-term rental accommodation in Australia.”

PriceLabs introduces new feature for uncertain markets

PriceLabs, a dynamic pricing and revenue management solution provider, has just released an exciting new feature that could revolutionize the way you do business in 2023.

The new pacing reports feature provides valuable insights and tools to help you navigate an uncertain market and optimize your pricing strategy. By analyzing local markets and comparing performance to last year, these reports give you the edge you need to stay ahead of the competition and maximize your revenue.

Pacing, the concept of setting reference points through pacing curves, is at the heart of this feature. With the new reports, you’ll be able to easily identify whether your listings, local competitors, or the entire market are slowing down or accelerating compared to last year. This information will allow you to adjust your rates and occupancy accordingly, staying ahead of the curve and maximizing your profits.

new pricelabs feature

Best of all, these reports are included in each of PriceLabs’ dynamic pricing and market report products, so you can access them right alongside their powerful tools for market dashboards, portfolio analytics, and neighborhood data. And for current PriceLabs users, there’s no additional cost to take advantage of this exciting new feature.

SeeTransparent releases Q1 ‘data story’

SeeTransparent, a data intelligence company that provides up-to-date short-term rental data, has released its ‘Short-term rental data story‘, an interactive data report for Q1. The report is split into three fascinating chapters on OTAs, growth, and outlook and is a must-read for any vacation rental property owner or manager.

2023 Shortyz winners announced

On April 26, 2023, more than 200 industry professionals, including entrepreneurs, property owners, technology providers, and online travel agencies, gathered to celebrate the outstanding achievements of their peers at the Shortyz awards ceremony in London.

You can check out the list of winners here.

Until next time…

As we wrap up this month’s roundup of the latest vacation rental industry news and trends, it’s clear that this is an exciting time for the market. From AI technology to market analytics, there’s always something new and innovative happening in this dynamic industry.

However, it’s also important to recognize that the vacation rental industry is facing some challenges, such as increasing regulation and concerns about the impact of short-term rentals on local communities. As we move forward, it’s important for all stakeholders to work together to find solutions that balance the needs of residents, property owners, and tourists.

At the same time, it’s clear that the vacation rental industry will continue to play an important role in the travel and tourism sector. As more people look for unique and personalized travel experiences, vacation rentals offer a compelling alternative to traditional hotels and resorts.

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