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Light at the end of the tunnel for short-term lets as bookings 'skyrocket'

After being hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global short-term lets sector is starting to recover.

New analysis from rental data firm AirDNA shows that activity is starting to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, with bookings on Airbnb and Vrbo climbing by 127%.

Worldwide, new bookings (for any date in the future) increased from 916,000 in the week beginning April 5 to 2.08 million in the week beginning May 18 2020.


During March, it was reported by the UK Short Term Accommodation Association that 70% of short-term rental bookings in the UK were cancelled following the outbreak of coronavirus, rising to as high as 90% for some companies.

AirDNA says that after hitting 'rock bottom' in early April, the sector is recovering globally as rentals in locations with beaches, ski resorts and mountains start to get booked up.

In Europe, Nice and Marseille in France and Naples in Italy are among the markets with the highest number of new short-term lets bookings.

Meanwhile, in the US the beaches of Alabama, Georgia, Texas and the Carolinas are all experiencing 'astonishing' levels of new bookings.

In the Southern Hemisphere, AirDNA reports Queenstown in New Zealand and the Blue Mountains in Australia as the top-performing areas as activity in urban metropolitan areas remains 'sluggish'.

However, the research shows a trend towards 'travel-starved' guests choosing domestic destinations close to home as they test the tourism waters post-Covid-19.

In a selection of 40 cities across Europe and the US, the average distance travelled has decreased by 74%.

"The vacation rental industry has been quick to mobilise against the virus, offering mid-term stays, self check-in and stringent cleaning regimens," says Scott Shatford, chief executive officer of AirDNA.

"Guests have clearly returned in kind, confident in the space, safety and comfort that vacation rentals offer over traditional forms of accommodation."

"We hope this indicates that the industry has turned a corner and that the travel sector as a whole can look forward to a brighter future," he adds.

You can see AirDNA's full report here.


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