While demand for rural destination and leisure markets has dominated 2020 and 2021 urban vacation rentals are still very much on travellers’ radars. With vaccinations being widely distributed and countries reopening their borders, more cities are already starting to notice an uptick

We wanted to shed some light on the urban properties and show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  To give you a helping hand, we’ve taken twelve cities across Spain, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy, and the USA and analysed them in terms of reservation performance in 2021 compared to 2019, as well as which channels are performing best for properties located in these cities. 

If you see a top-performing channel in your city that you haven’t listed your properties on yet, it’s time to add it to your marketing mix. You can easily do that with the Rentals United vacation rental channel manager

If your city isn’t featured, please contact us here – we have all the data you need to optimise your distribution for the summer.

Jump to: USA | United Kingdom | Spain | France | Greece | Italy |

The return of urban travel is moving in a positive direction 

USA

New York

Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Over the last two months, we can see that bookings made in New York have started to creep up again. Compared to 2019, New York is seeing an average increase of 257.98% in booking reservations across the past eight weeks.

With vaccination roll out in the USA being one of the fastest across the world, people are feeling safer to travel within the country and to other cities.

Miami Beach

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

According to Rentals United data, current Miami Beach reservations are also outperforming 2019 with an average increase of 123.03% across weeks 23-30. 

To make sure you are reaching the right travellers, these are some of the best-performing distribution channels for vacation rentals located in Miami Beach:

  • Booking.com 
  • Expedia 
  • Airbnb 
  • Vrbo 
  • Google 
Google vacation rentals ebook download banner

UK:

Brighton 

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Brighton is one of the top destinations for holidaymakers in the UK. With strict travel restrictions still in place, many UK travellers are once again forgoing their holiday abroad and choosing to staycation in the UK. 

Since the pandemic, however, Brighton has seen an uptick in reservations with a percentage increase of  67.50% compared to 2019. 

If you have vacation rentals in Brighton, these are the best-performing distribution channels you should consider getting listed on: 

  • Booking.com 
  • Airbnb 
  • Vrbo 
  • Expedia 
  • Holidu 
  • HomeToGo 

Spain: 

Barcelona 

Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

While Spain is bouncing back, Barcelona is taking a little longer to get back to pre-pandemic times. With the spike in Covid cases in Barcelona over the past couple of weeks, it clearly took a hit with reservations.

Barcelona is starting to look a little more positive in terms of bookings but we still see an average percentage decrease of -28.38% compared with 2019. 


Some of the best-performing distribution channels for vacation rentals in Barcelona include:

  • Airbnb 
  • Booking.com 
  • Homeaway 
  • Expedia 
  • Holidu 
  • Agoda 
  • TravelStaytion 
  • Google 
  • Misterbnb 

Madrid 

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

According to our data, over the last two months, we can see that bookings for Madrid have started to creep up again. Compared to 2019, Madrid is seeing an average increase of 8.25% in booking reservations across the past eight weeks. 

Some of the best-performing distribution channels for vacation rentals in Madrid include:

  • Airbnb 
  • Booking.com 
  • Vrbo 
  • Expedia 
  • Plum Guide 
  • Misterbnb 
  • Hostelworld 

Malaga 

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Malaga is another City in Spain that is performing very well when compared to 2019, Malaga is actually outperforming 2019 with an average increase of 72.45% per cent. 

The reason for these great statics can be attributed to Spain’s open borders for tourism, and the staggering 3.5 million flights being booked between June and September. Thanks to Malaga’s southern location situated on the coast it is a high demand location for those looking to enjoy the Mediterranian sea. 

If you have a property in Malaga and want to make sure you are getting the most out of it this summer, here are the best-performing distribution channels: 

  • Airbnb 
  • Booking.com 
  • Expedia 
  • Vrbo
  • Google

Related: 3 Pricing Strategies to Fill Gaps Between Bookings & Maximise Occupancy

Greece: 

Athens 

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Demand for vacation rentals in Greece has been huge this summer and that includes Athens too. Vacation rentals in Greece are especially popular among travellers from Spain, France and Italy.

Thanks to their open borders and relaxed restrictions, compared to 2019, Athens has seen an average percentage increase of more than 201.01%.

If you have a property located in Athens these are some of the best-performing distribution channels: 

  • Expedia 
  • Airbnb 
  • Booking.com
  • Ostrovok
  • Agoda

France: 

Paris 

Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Despite the lockdowns and restrictions France has had to endure, the performance in Paris is beginning to pick up again in comparison with 2019. Over the past 4 weeks, we can see that bookings made are starting to close the gap with 2019 performance.

While not fully recovered, there are definitely positive movements in the right direction. 

If you have a property in Paris, these are some of the best-performing distribution channels performing in Paris:

  • Booking.com 
  • Airbnb 
  • Vrbo 
  • Plum Guide 
  • Expedia 
  • TravelStaytion 
  • Holidu 
  • HomeToGo 
  • Agoda 
  • Google

Rennes

top performing cities
Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Rennes is the capital city of Brittany, located in northwest France.

According to Rentals United data, current Rennes reservations are outperforming 2019 with an average increase of 33.63% across weeks 23-30. 

One of the best locations to be bouncing back after the pandemic in France, this medieval city is a cultural hub for tourists looking to getaway. 

Some of the best-performing distribution channels in no particular order for vacation rentals in Renesse include:

  • Google
  • Airbnb 
  • Booking.com 
  • Vrbo 
  • Holidu 
  • Locasun 

Italy:

Milan  

Bookings created between May 7th – July 29th, 2019, and 2021. Source: RU Data Studio

Italy as a whole is bouncing back tremendously well, thanks to its popularity with French travellers who are able to drive across the border. 

Italian cities, on the other hand, are taking a little longer to bounce back. There have, however, been some positive trends over the past 8 weeks. 2021 bookings being created are looking to be on the uptick, and last week in Milan alone bookings were only -18.39% down when compared to the same statistics in 2019.

If you have a property located in Milan, there are some of the best-performing distribution channels for vacation rentals in no particular order. 

  • Booking.com
  • Airbnb
  • Holidu 
  • Expedia
  • Plum Guide
  • Edomizil 
  • HomeToGo
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Which channels are performing best in the city in which your property is located?

Looking at the lists above, have you noticed that many channels are performing in one city and not another? 

Looking at channel statistics in RU Data Studio, it’s clear that while there’s definitely a strong overlap, the top-performing channels aren’t exactly the same in each city. 

This proves that to get the best results property managers should be looking at how channels are performing more granually rather than looking at the country as a whole. 

In RU Data Studio, you can see which of your channels are performing the strongest in each area where your properties are located. You can use that information to update your marketing mix accordingly. 

This is an example of what a property manager sees when they log into RU Data Studio.

If you see a top-performing channel where your property is located and haven’t listed your properties yet, it’s time to add it to your marketing mix. 

You can do it easily with the Rentals United vacation rental channel manager.

If you’d like to know more about Rentals United Data Studio, or if you would like to get more information about the country your vacation rentals are located. Please feel free to reach out.