Digital travel platform Trip101 is joining the host of vacation rental sites who are reporting a surge in demand amid the pandemic.
May saw a record number of vacation rental bookings for Trip101, with a 300 per cent year-on-year growth. The initial growth could be due to people like key workers and those at risk looking to self-isolate, as well as those who wanted to escape urban hotspots of the virus, said Trip101.
Trip101’s latest data also shows that the US is leading in the recovery for vacation rentals. Data showed the impact of Covid-19 on the vacation rental market, with bookings bottoming out at the start of March 2020. Recovery began from mid-March, with April seeing a sharp growth in bookings, reaching pre-Covid levels by the end of the month. Moreover, between the start of the recovery and end-May, there was a 700 per cent increase in bookings per week.
Other countries are also following a similar trajectory. Canada leads the recovery with 880 per cent more bookings by the end of May compared to the start of April, Australia with 550 per cent, and Japan with 150 per cent. These countries have not bounced back to pre-Covid levels of bookings, but the data indicates a promising recovery.
Trip101 also reports that booking lead time for vacation rentals around the world decreased substantially during the height of the pandemic. May 2020 saw the shortest booking time ever, with people booking an average of 29 days in advance – a stark difference from 2019’s average booking time of 50 days.
For vacation rentals in the US (see graph), findings show a 62 per cent decrease in booking time, from 72 days at the start of the year, to 27 days in May. Trip101 also found a further seven per cent decrease in booking time from April to May.
The trends coincide with the announcement that states are starting to reopen for business. While people still have the desire to travel, continuing travel restrictions and uncertainty means that they can only plan their trips a few weeks in advance, Trip101 said, adding that vacation rental owners can expect to see their summer calendars begin to fill up.