The vacation rental industry is constantly growing and changing. Research has found that the more people use Airbnb, the less likely they would book an ordinary hotel. In fact, by 2020, vacation rentals will topple the hotel industry.
New trends are emerging, and as a vacation rental owner, you can benefit from the latest travel trends. By implementing new marketing strategies and adapting your property to these trends, your vacation rental business can boom over the next 12 months. Without further ado, here are seven vacation rental trends to watch out for in 2020:
1. Low-Season Travel
What’s the best way for travelers to avoid crowds and save money? Traveling during the low-season. This past decade has seen a growth in travel offseason. Indeed, the summertime now even extends to September and October, meaning the warmer climate prolongs the peak-season.
So who exactly avoids the peak season travel times? All sorts of travelers! Whether it’s seniors who want to escape the crowds of high-season tourists, romantic couples looking for a cozy autumnal vacation, friends wanting a weekend getaway or active groups of adults wanting to enjoy outdoor pursuits without the summer heat (or winter snow!) – there are always individuals vacationing during the off-season.
The rise in this trend enables vacation rentals to become even more profitable. As the majority of airlines and hotels decline in price during the off-season, vacation rentals can also adapt to the current circumstances and attract guests who are looking to go away. Ultimately, it will lead to more bookings and more profit.
2. Vacationing with Pets
Pet-friendly vacation rentals are on the rise. According to Booking.com, 42% of pet owners around the world would choose accommodation on the basis that they could bring their pets. On top of that, more than 50% would pay extra so their furry friends could tag along.
As vacation rentals typically offer more space than hotel rooms, it makes them far more desirable for pet owners. Happy clients equal a higher satisfaction rating and feedback. These positive reviews will, in turn, generate more bookings for your property in the future.
Besides being able to increase your rates and appeal to a wider market, there are plenty of other advantages to accepting them at your home. As a matter of fact, many travelers with pets will return to a property if everything went smoothly the first time around.
3. Unique Accommodation
The variety of vacation rentals on offer have majorly increased over the past few years. Nowadays, accommodations aim to offer a unique experience adapted to each traveler. Likewise, travelers prefer to stay in varied types of accommodation: glamping, tiny houses, igloos, treehouses, bubble domes, etc.
Guests want to experience something out of the ordinary and something that is perhaps unavailable in their hometown. In fact, 71% of millennial travelers would consider staying at a non-traditional vacation rental.
The latest travel trends including glamping and tiny houses are considered a profitable business, as there is a lower investment and a higher turnover profit. Unique accommodation can be managed in the same way as any other type of holiday rental: it can be advertised on the same listing sites, and also have its own website.
4. Wellness Travel
As an increasing number of travelers from all demographics are opting for health-focused vacations. A report by the Global Wellness Insitute found that wellness tourism is now a booming $639 billion market. It’s projected to reach $919 billion in the next 2 years.
Vacation rental owners have a huge opportunity to dip into this movement and boost bookings. By marketing your rental to fitness and wellness travelers, or promoting health and wellness in your marketing, you can grab these guests’ attention. In particular, those in destinations which boast easy access to nature, beaches, scenic hikes and other outdoor activities can really emphasize this.
5. Instant Booking
There is one key theme that continues to run through many vacation rental industry events, conferences and symposiums: direct bookings.
More travelers than ever are searching exclusively for rentals with instant booking. It offers them the confidence that they won’t miss out on a dream rental due to slow response times. It’s also become an increasingly popular choice for owners to choose instant booking. Above all, instant booking is more common with hosts on listing sites like Airbnb, Booking.com, FlipKey and so on. Lodgify’s vacation rental software also allows guests to book directly.
Instant booking is especially vital for last-minute bookings, as they need to have their accommodation confirmed instantly. That’s why instant booking functions can play a big role in increasing booking conversion. With instant booking, owners are able to compete with hotels who have been using it for years, and guests will find the process just as easy and simple as booking a hotel room online.
6. Sustainable Travel
We’ve seen widespread environmental action and protests across the globe this year. With environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who even sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to America on a sailboat to avoid flying, people are more conscious than ever are of their carbon footprint.
An increasing number of travelers are beginning to show a preference for accommodation that is eco-friendly. Indeed, 56% of young people wish to stay in eco-friendly accommodation. There are many ways you can make your vacation rental sustainable: installing solar panels, providing recycling options, having a vegetable compost, etc. Mentioning what you have implemented and advertising it on your social media accounts and website description will attract not only environmental conscious guests but also ordinary guests who will appreciate the effort.
Those renting out their properties are already seeing the benefits of going green when the monthly energy bill comes. Small steps towards sustainability can go a long way in making your listing unique, whilst cutting long-term costs and adding a dash of personality to your rental. With more travelers opting for eco-friendly vacation rentals, your business can profit from this trend and help the environment at the same time.
7. Mobile Bookings
There is no doubt that mobile browsing and buying is on the rise. According to Criteo’s Travel Insight Report, up to 80% of last-minute bookings are made on mobile devices. As a vacation rental owner, optimizing your website for mobile devices is now more important than ever before for growing your business.
Having a vacation rental website optimized for mobile phones will allow guests to search for accommodation, book their trip and communicate with you via their mobile devices will ease the process and lead to a quicker conversion. Moreover, you’ll reach new markets, especially millennials who interact the most with their smartphones.
Now you’re aware of the travel trends to watch out for in 2020, you’ll have some ideas and know what to look out for in the new year. Your vacation rental property can adapt to these emerging trends, and by marketing around them, you’ll attract more guests overall.