Lodgify Lowdown

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

The beginning of the new year is the ideal time to gauge and evaluate your vacation rental business—and the industry itself. It gives you a chance to plan the year ahead and introduce new ideas into your business strategy.

Hosts and property managers who wish to scale their business in 2023 can benefit by keeping on top of industry news and trends, new initiatives, and technological solutions for short-term rentals. As the vacation rental industry continues to evolve while adapting to current social, political, and economic factors, we are seeing changes that can impact your business’ success and how you operate it.

In this article, we look at the industry’s main headlines for January and analyze why they’re important and how they can affect vacation rental owners. We’ll also look at how you can make the most of the predicted travel trends for 2023 and how new technology can make managing your business even easier.

Unique stays will be on the rise again in 2023

The Expedia group released its travel trends report for 2023, which predicts that travelers will be looking for unconventional options and that unique stays are on the rise. Noting that guests are tired of compromising with their travel plans over the last few years, they’re now ready to try new experiences and do what they want.

unqiue stays

Jon Gieselman, President of Expedia, says, “We’re seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats, and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains — not a new normal, but people branching out to unexpected trends in what we’re calling the ‘no-normal.”

In particular, Expedia expects to see an increase in TV and film-inspired destinations and ‘cowboy-cations,’ which include vacations to rustic lodges, farmhouses, and ranches inspired by the cowboy way of life.

This travel trend coincides with the release of Airbnb’s OMG! category, which was announced during their Summer Update in 2022, and highlights unique and unconventional accommodations.

This is great news if you own a glamping business or a themed vacation rental.

Gloomy start for tech in short-term rental industry as layoffs continue

Vacasa has announced it’s laying off up to 1,300 staff, which is roughly 17% of its workforce. After making a number of cuts the year before, Vacasa felt it was necessary to make further changes in order to battle increasing costs.

Vacasa’s stock has fallen since it became a public company in 2021; however, CEO Rob Greyber remained positive despite the circumstances by saying, “We have crafted our choices to maintain the strong service levels our owners and guests have come to expect from Vacasa. I am optimistic about Vacasa’s potential. Because of that, I am equally focused on improving and accelerating our pace of execution across the company.”

Hosts with property on Vacasa may be slightly concerned, although, in Q3 of 2022, it still reported revenue of $412 million, a 25% YOY increase.

Advances made for a more socially conscious and sustainable industry

In more positive news for the vacation rental industry, Airbnb announced on January 10th that it had signed ECPAT’s ‘The Code’ to help combat child exploitation and trafficking. To mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S., Airbnb took the decision to sign ‘The Code’ and will engage in a number of initiatives, including training employees on how to report suspected cases, providing further information to hosts on how to identify unusual behavior, and collaborating with several stakeholders to raise awareness.

And while Airbnb is driving social change in the industry, Barcelona-based company Sustonica wants to boost eco-conscious rentals by launching its “Committed” program. With the goal of improving sustainability within the short-term rental industry, Sustonica will begin to recognize and award eco-friendly vacation rentals throughout the world.


Sustonica CEO Vanessa de Souza said: “We are excited to launch Sustonica and provide vacation rental owners and managers with a clear and credible way to demonstrate their commitment to good environmental and social practices. The program is designed to encourage and reward properties that are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact while also providing guests with an easy way to identify and book eco-friendly accommodations.”

The certification is awarded to short-term rentals that meet at least 12 out of 40 criteria and is valid for one year.

According to research by Booking.com, 73% of guests are more likely to book a property that has been recognized as eco-friendly. So, hosts looking to adapt their rental to become more environmentally friendly – now’s the time to do it!

Artificial intelligence is on everyone’s lips

AI has made huge strides over the last year alone. It has gained particular notoriety across social media thanks to artists releasing incredible AI-generated artwork just from a few keywords.

Well, the vacation rental industry has started to catch on as hosts are beginning to use AI to help drive bookings to their properties. ChatGTP is just one tool being used to create content in just a matter of seconds that can be applied to blogs, newsletters, and even OTA listings.

CNN has covered a story about a property manager who created their Zillow listing in less than five seconds by simply typing a few descriptive keywords into the tool.

This kind of technology can assist hosts and property managers in writing more attractive listings while saving time and effort in doing so. What’s more, you can use it to create marketing content, keeping your past and potential guests engaged with your business.

Technology keeps offering solutions for short-term rental owners

If you found the above impressive, then wait until you hear this! Minut has launched the world’s first outdoor and indoor sensor designed for Airbnb hosts and the hospitality industry.

Minut sensor

The new sensor monitors indoor and outdoor noise in short-term rentals, helping hosts prevent parties, damage, and neighbor complaints. It can also track temperature and humidity as well as motion. The sensor is weatherproof, and using a new technology called AudioID, it can filter out the wind noise around the sensor. Hosts can therefore use the sensor to monitor noise levels and respond to issues before they get out of control.

Reasons to be cheerful

In general, there’s a lot to be optimistic about when looking at the year ahead. The vacation rental industry is never a smooth ride, and there’ll always be challenges to overcome. However, there are new and exciting opportunities on the horizon that hosts and property managers can look forward to.

2023 is expected to see an expansion of the industry and an increase in travel while opening doors to new trends and demographics. This month we’ve already seen encouraging social initiatives and further progress in vacation rental technology. So far, so good.

Keep an eye out for February’s Lodgify Lowdown for next month’s industry insights.

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