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Contrasting Recovery Trends Between Urban vs Vacation Markets

By July 14, 2020 July 15th, 2020 No Comments

Over the last few months, we have been tracking worldwide booking data! This data has helped us understand booking patterns and inform pricing strategy for our algorithm. Users have also used this data via market dashboards to update their pricing strategy via our pricing and min-stay customizations.

The data we showed in our last webinar (on recovery trends) was particularly striking, and we’re presenting some of that here (updated as we get more data).

We look into 4 big themes on trends in Short-Term and Vacation Rental bookings here:

Vacation rental markets are generally recovering faster than urban markets

This was somewhat expected – urban centers rely a lot on large gatherings of people (conferences, concerts, business meetings) for travel demand. Most large events worldwide are canceled, and business demand will be late in recovering.

Similarly, domestic tourism is going to be the first to restart, and everyone will be hesitant about traveling across the border for a while. This means that countries like the US with a much larger share of domestic tourists will recover sooner.

The mid-term bookings trend is coming to an end

Back in March and April, there was a surge in mid-term bookings, while shorter bookings dried up. The result was that the average Length of Stay (LOS) doubled in some locations. That average LOS is now back to the levels seen at the beginning of the year, indicating that mid-term stays were more of a short term trend. This doesn’t mean you don’t focus on attracting longer stays – in the absence of the usual levels of demand for short stays, mid-term stays should still be something to attract to increase revenue from your listings.

Average LOS by market and month of booking

Other than the North American vacation rental market, the prices are depressed everywhere else

The trend in prices is indicative of the demand and recovery: North American vacation rental market has rebounded strongly, and it shows in the price!

Average nightly booked rate by market and month of booking

Guests are getting comfortable booking stays for far-out again

A other big trend we saw during the peak of uncertainty was that a lot more super last-minute stays were happening (the share of same-day and same-week bookings soared). That was understandable, as no one knew if they’d be able to make any trips farther out or not. A few changes since then:

  • There is still uncertainty in the markets, and share of super last min stays (in purples) is still higher than in Jan/Feb. But it has come down significantly from the peak in March-April.
  • Compared to the peak of COVID19, we do see more and more bookings happening for dates a week to a month out in the future (marked by the arrows below).
  • Bookings for dates more than 1 month out have not recovered (even as a share of all bookings) to the levels in Jan/Feb this year (in orange/red/pink).

We hope this gives you some insight into what’s happening around the world and helps you make sense of what might be happening in your own portfolio. If you have any questions about this data, how to interpret and use it, or how to get more localized data, please let us know at!