The vacation rental industry is going through a difficult time, but we’re all hopeful that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. As countries begin to loosen their lockdown restrictions and the world turns back to normal, there will be a transition to venturing back into the wider world, albeit at a slow pace. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through what we expect post-confinement recovery phases to look like, how to market your properties to domestic travellers and suggest which bookings sites to get listed on.

We also hosted a webinar on April 30th, where Vanessa de Souza Lage, Co-founder and CMO of Rentals United, gives actionable tips in terms of content as well as reveals the best OTAs you should be advertising on to capture the domestic traveller. Watch the Webinar now:

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Post-confinement travel trends: domestic tourism 

“Getaway destinations close to nature and niche luxury properties will increase and be much more desired after recovering from the lock-down in the cities,” says Moriya Rockman, CEO, CMO and Founder of Smiling House.

Expected Recovery Phase 1: Regional tourism picks up

“2020 could well become the year of the car.” Clayton Reid, chief executive of travel industry analyst MMGY Global said in an article published in Los Angeles Times 

Recovery will begin with the exploration of the familiar. Shorter, closer drive-to destinations with a lower spend will be on the increase. We expect it will begin with local restaurants, attractions, parks and places that we took for granted before the pandemic. There will also be an increase of movement as people seek reconnection, be it family reunions, weddings, christenings or transformational travel. We expect a faster snapback straight after confinement as people start to reconnect with people they know and love.

Expected Recovery Phase 2: Domestic tourism gets a big push 

As domestic restrictions ease up, we expect to see far more interest in domestic travel and staycations. From our internal statistics, we have seen a 20 percentage points increase in guests travelling within the same country compared with the previous year.  

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The use of cars and train travel will increase drastically as travellers explore corners of their own countries they never thought of visiting.

Expected Recovery Phase 3: Business travel sees a comeback 

Business travel will be the next phase of recovery. It is expected to have a rapid snapback due to pent-up demand, but there are also suggestions that the level of business travel will be reduced. As the use of video calling such as zoom between teams, companies are looking at how they previously worked compared to COVID-19 remote working. It is likely that the level of business travel might not be as prominent as it was before the COVID-19 crisis.

Expected Recovery Phase 4: International travel returns 

Lastly, we expect international travel to be the last to return as consumers need time to regain confidence in flying again. It will take time for the memories of the risk of contagion and of being stranded far from home to fade. However, the trends that have made travel one the world’s favourite leisure activity remain and will likely enable leisure travel levels to continue to grow.

Strategies to eclipse the competition 

Pay extra attention to health and safety 

“Guests are going to look for more detailed information on property managers’ cleaning processe and expect immaculate spaces upon check-in”

After the crisis, health and safety standards will remain high for a long time. Your newly adopted hygiene practices put in place to address COVID-19 will likely have to remain in place. People will be astutely aware and uphold a heightened necessity for proper cleaning practices and will inevitably judge your property on this. 

That said, an increased charge for more cleaning will be expected especially if your cleaning is done by a professional company, so don’t hesitate to put your cleaning prices up accordingly. 

In essence, these are more likely to be a selling point than a deterrent. Some operational cleanliness changes might include consistent reminders to your customers about what steps you have taken to increase hygiene as well as highlighting your rigorous cleaning procedures in the ads you place on listing sites.  

It is also important to remember that a lack of pristine sanitisation will lead to strongly negative reviews. 

TIP- We would suggest providing things like soap (with refills available), hand sanitiser as well as plenty of tissues or antibacterial wipes for reassurance that travellers will seek. 

Check out our blog post for more marketing strategies for vacation rentals safety

React dynamically to changing trends and traveller demand

There won’t be a day on the calendar when the coronavirus pandemic will be done with. It will be a slow recovery that differs across the globe, meaning that travellers might have to continue to contend with various travel bans, visa rules, and lockdowns. This means that property managers should be ready to receive short-notice bookings as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. 

Once things return to normality, there will be a rush and an influx of domestic tourists leaving and arriving in destinations. For property managers, it’s important to have a competitive offer and be present everywhere. The quickest and most efficient way is to use a dynamic pricing tool, especially as nowadays guests can compare pricing instantly online. 

For more information reach out here.

Diversify your distribution with these channels 

As the domestic travel demand starts to pick up it’s more important than ever for short-term rental property managers to improve their marketing mix. Demand will be lower than usual and therefore the competition for bookings will be far more intense

So what can you do to optimise your distribution during such a highly competitive time?

  1. Get listed on top local channels.
  2. Make sure you update your property descriptions to be more appealing to domestic travellers. 
  3. Consider getting listed on niche websites that target specific types of travellers, like sports tourists or digital nomads. These channels can give you more visibility. 

The quickest and most efficient way to get listed on a large variety of different websites is to use a Channel Manager that works in real-time. Talk to us if you want to find out more!

Webinar: Embracing Domestic Tourism. Stats and distribution strategies for property managers.

On Thursday, April 30th, we have organised a webinar to discuss the opportunities from embracing the domestic traveller. 

We covered the best practices in terms of content and revealed the top OTA websites you should be advertising on now. Get prepared for the competitive road ahead by proactively planning for the domestic tourism rebound that’s to come. 

The webinar was filled with actionable tips that you can start implementing today. Watch the Webinar now!

Learn how to grow your business with a powerful Channel Manager.