Airbnb, the home-sharing and accommodation rental giant, has predicted an unprecedented travel recovery in the coming months as more countries ease travel restrictions due to vaccine roll-out. The pent-up demand for travel after a year of uncertainties are making people get back out there. This trend is also captured in the eRevMax Hotel Sentiment survey where 2 out of three BnB and Home Rental owners have reported significant increase in bookings and occupancy compared to last year.
Airbnb has recently published its customer survey report which shows a shift toward more meaningful travel. As more people work remotely from home, they want to go out and stay at another place, not necessarily a hotel, for a longer than usual duration.
More than a year of restrictions and lockdown have made people prioritize personal trips over mass tourism. People want to reconnect with family and loved ones and are willing to take trips while keeping the safety and security in check.
Among the key points that surfaced in the Airbnb research:
People miss traveling and plan to travel. More than bars, restaurants, sports, or other live events, people miss traveling. In one survey, 54% of people said they either already booked a trip or expect to travel in 2021.
What this means: There is a significant pent-up demand as people can’t wait to travel again.
People will be flexible on where and when they travel. With remote work and learning here to stay, people will have more flexibility with travel. This will likely impact where, when, and how long people stay—for example, there may be more demand for off-peak days of the week and times of the year. Nearly 25% of those surveyed said they envision longer stays.
What this means: Be ready to adapt to new guest needs, like offering longer stays, upgrading wi-fi, setting up a laptop-friendly workspace, and including amenities suitable for families and people with disabilities.
People will want to travel nearby. In the survey, 56% of people said they prefer a domestic or local destination. Just 21% said they want to travel farther away and internationally.
What this means: Guests will go anywhere—as long as it’s nearby. This means travel will likely disperse to thousands of smaller cities, towns, and rural communities.
People will prioritize affordability. Those surveyed said affordability was the top priority in choosing accommodations for future travel. The pandemic has hit a lot of people financially, but the desire to travel and connect is universal.
What this means: Offering a great value would help accommodation providers to attract family and group of friends traveling together.
People want to travel to connect with family and friends. In the survey, 41% said connecting with family and friends will be “much more important” post-pandemic.
What this means: There is a shift from mass travel to meaningful travel, and bookings from families and groups of friends who want to reconnect.
As people begin to make plans to reconnect with friends and family, Airbnb is launching the Summer of Responsible Travel, an 8-point plan to help hosts, guests and communities they call home stay safer. The Summer of Responsible Travel plan includes new tools to help travelers and hosts stay healthier, systems to crack down on bad behavior and more help for people if some part of their trip doesn’t go as planned.
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