Have you suffered a loss of income and a decrease in bookings this year? 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone in the travel industry. Travel warnings, the closing of borders and quarantines have resulted in the cancellation of many trips, flights and bookings. This created a climate of uncertainty, which has affected both travelers and vacation rental owners. As people began to travel again, we witnessed how the Covid-19 crisis has shaped the behavior of many holidaymakers. We believe these new travel patterns will continue well into 2021.
To help you prepare for the coming year, we have compiled the most important travel trends for 2021. We also give you 7 tips on how you can take advantage of these changing market trends.
Due to travel restrictions, people have started to explore their own countries rather than traveling abroad. Cancellations and travel warnings are less likely to affect domestic travel, and people are choosing to avoid international trips as they don’t wish to fly. Instead, travelers are holidaying in destinations within their own country that can be easily reached by car or train. We believe that domestic travel or ‘staycations’ will be a key trend in 2021 and will help the tourism sector get back on its feet.
Tip: Attract domestic travelers to your rental by adapting your marketing strategy. Advertise your property locally and use a channel manager to increase the visibility of your rental. Include information in your listing about how to get to the closest train station and offer parking spots at your property.
A Focus on Safety Measures
Travelers are prioritizing safety when it comes to taking vacations. People are actively searching for accommodation that they know complies with the recommended hygiene measures. Guarantee guests that your holiday home will be correctly cleaned and sanitized before their arrival and make small gestures such as providing them with complimentary hand sanitizer. This will heighten their feeling of safety and may also increase your bookings.
Tip: Hire a cleaning company to correctly clean and sanitize your property between stays. Leave a cleaning checklist or guarantee to let guests know what cleaning procedures have been carried out. Always provide fresh linen and towels and offer an additional cleaning during longer stays. Look into reducing contact between you and your guests by offering automated check-ins.
Remote Work and Longer Stays
2020 was the year of remote working. With many of us forced to switch to home office for longer periods, we saw an increase in the trend ‘Workationing’. This is when remote workers chose to combine work and travel and temporarily relocate to another destination for a few weeks or months. People choose to work from a beautiful villa where they can enjoy undisturbed hours of productivity and then head to the beach or lake afterward. ‘Workcationers’ tend to book for more extended periods and look for accommodation with a strong internet connection and comfortable furniture. As remote working is now an even more popular model than before, we believe that this trend will continue to grow over the coming years.
Tip: Ensure you have a good Wi-Fi connection and offer a desk with a comfortable chair and a coffee machine for guests to use during breaks. Allow stays for longer periods of time as workcationers often want to stay more than 2 weeks.
Family-friendly vacation rentals will continue to be high in demand in 2021. In these uncertain times, family becomes even more important and spending time with loved ones will be of the highest priority. Rather than just wanting to discover new places, people will also travel to reunite with relatives and even relocate to stay closer to them. Consequently, guests will look for family-friendly rentals that offer all the amenities they need for a comfortable and safe stay.
Tip: Attract families by offering the amenities they value the most. Create a cozy and homely atmosphere by adding cushions and blankets and make sure your kitchen is well-equipped. Provide a baby cot, a children’s bed or a highchair in case they are traveling with small children.
Due to changing circumstances, we’ve seen an increase in last-minute holidays. Travelers are making bookings often less than a week in advance. Consequently, properties with last-minute offers or flexible cancellation policies are getting twice as many bookings as ones with a stricter policy or ones that do not offer last-minute discounts.
Tip: Activate last-minute discounts to help fill up your calendar as well as early bird discounts to secure yourself bookings for next year. Opt for a flexible cancellation policy rather than a strict one.
The Importance of Technology
Technology is now more important than ever. From remote working, keeping in contact with family and friends to staying up to date with changing restrictions, a strong Wi-Fi connection is a must. Furthermore, the technological features of a property will continue to play a major role in attracting younger generations. Young people continue to be the best clientele for vacation rentals and we believe they will be a key driver in the recovery of the travel industry over the coming months.
Tip: Equip your rental with new technology. Offer free Wi-Fi and include other devices such as a TV, sound systems or game consoles.
In recent years, the eco-movement has really taken off. People all around the globe have become more environmentally conscious and have consequently begun looking at ways to make their holidays more sustainable. Travelers now actively look for sustainable accommodation and over 70% of travelers are more likely to book a vacation rental knowing it was eco-friendly. Now is the time to start taking appropriate measures and making your holiday home more eco-friendly. Besides helping the environment, you will attract modern and environmentally conscious tourists and save some money.
Tip: Ride the wave of environmentalism and make your property as sustainable as possible. Start by taking little steps such as changing your traditional light bulbs for LED lighting, using natural cleaning products or even planting trees in your garden. For more tips on how to make your accommodation sustainable, check out our blog post “Six tips for an Eco-Friendly Vacation Rental-In Conversation with Bob Garner “.
By following our tips, you can maximize your bookings in 2021 and make the best of the current situation. If you want to learn more about how to optimize your property, you can contact our experts at Bookiply https://www.bookiply.com/homeowners.