What the Vacation Rental Industry Will Look Like in 2020

Gone are the days when people used to plan their travel with the help of a travel agency that handles all the booking and related activities. Now the hotel and vacation rental industry are quite different than it was in the last decade. The vacation rental industry is growing tremendously and has undergone a lot of significant changes in the past years. The past year has seen plenty of new trends that will have an impact on how the industry will shape up in 2020. Before going into the rental market trends that will influence the vacation rental industry in the coming year, let’s look into some significant statistics.

Vacation rental industry statistics

The vacation rental industry is very lucrative and is growing in the past few years, thanks to new technologies and software.

  • In 2018, it was estimated that the number of vacation rental business in the US was 23,000 and 115,000 across the globe.
  • Airbnb alone has over 150 million users across the world.
  • Over 52% of travelers worldwide lookout for suggestions from friends on social media before planning their trip. They browse Facebook pages and stalk the vacation photos of their friends to make a decision.
  • Europe accounts for 60% of all vacation rental properties, the U.S for 20%, and the rest of the world for the remaining 20%.
  • New third-party tools and technology that streamlines hosting services are gaining momentum.
  • It is predicted that millennials will spend over $1.4 trillion on travel alone by 2020. They are more likely to choose short term rentals instead of a hotel for their travel.

Trends that will influence the vacation rental industry in 2020

It is expected that the vacation rental industry will continue to transform and become more popular as we move into 2020 and a new decade. With that said, let’s look into the rental market trends of the vacation rental industry and how it might look like in 2020.

Vacation rentals will topple the hotel industry by 2020

While initially, travelers were hesitant to try vacation rentals and hosts were reluctant to allow random people to stay in their personal space, vacation rentals are transforming now as a major business as travel trend changes. Back in 2015, Hilton said that they believe it is relatively impossible for peer-peer marketplaces to pose a major threat to hotel groups. But, it seems like the scenario is changing.

Every year the vacation rental industry is growing double in size while hotels are growing only by 1%-2% every year. This huge difference in figures indicates that vacation rentals will overtake the hotel industry by the end of the 2020s.

Unique accommodations will rise

The variety of vacation rental rentals and unique accommodations are rising over the past few years. Nowadays peer-peer vacation rental platforms aim to offer unique staying experience. For example, Airbnb offers unique stays in igloos, tiny houses, bubble domes and tree house which deliver a different experience to travelers altogether.

In fact, reports say that over 71% of millennials prefer staying at non-traditional vacation rentals when traveling. If you are running a vacation rental platform, consider incorporating unique accommodations to your platform so as to offer an out-of-ordinary experience for your guests.

Millennials will influence the vacation industry

Millennials in the age group of 20-34 years are the most powerful and influential customer group of the vacation rental industry. They love to immerse themselves in other cultures and behave like the locals when in another country. Hotel accommodation is not capable enough to offer such a kind of staying experience for them. But, the vacation rental industry well caters to millennials in offering fast and efficient listing and booking system.

The millennial generation has grown up with the latest technology and hence demand convenience in everything they do. They demand convenience and real-time information at their fingertips and they demand that vacation rental is at the forefront of technology usage as well. From booking a vacation rental to making the payment for it, the entire process must be easy to complete on a smartphone in just a couple of minutes. Hence, to satisfy the needs of millennials it is important for vacation rental platforms to be tech-savvy and incorporate the latest technologies in their platform to make the whole process of booking vacation rentals convenient and effortless.

Technology will play a significant role

Technology is an integral part of every facet of the modern world and the vacation rental industry is no different. The use of modern technology in a peer-peer vacation rental platform to make the booking experience seamless for both guests and hosts will continue to expand in 2020 as well. In 2020, there will technical solutions for every aspect of vacation rental management. Some of the aspects of vacation rental booking made easier by technology is communication between guests and property owners, security issues, online payment, instant booking, etc.

Vacation rental platforms can use machine learning algorithms and AI to develop a deeper understanding of images to offer better matching to guests, improve review using natural language processing, support more advanced search using technology to make it convenient for users to get the most out of the platform, and leverage a lot more with technology.

Instant vacation rental bookings

There is one key factor that makes many vacation rental platforms highly demanding- Instant booking. Most travelers these days are exclusively browsing for vacation rentals that allow them to book rentals instantly. It gives travelers the confidence that they won’t miss out on their dream vacation rental due to slow response time.

Above all, instant booking is more common with hosts on popular vacation rental platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb as these platforms allow guests to book vacation rentals directly. Instant booking is critical for last-minute booking as users want their booking confirmed instantly. This is exactly when the instant booking feature plays a significant role in increasing conversions in any vacation rental platform.

Peer-peer vacation rental platforms will be the ultimate choice for rental owners

With the emergence of peer-peer vacation rental platforms like Airbnb, most vacation rental owners are choosing these platforms to manage their rental properties. The choice of the listing site has a significant impact on the success of vacation rentals. It can greatly impact the rental owner’s ability to receive bookings. For example, Airbnb is an affordable choice for most vacation rental owners as it takes only a 3% booking fee and delivers a great traffic volume.

Another reason to choose such platforms is that in case of any issues, vacation rental owners get a quick response from these peer-peer rental marketplaces as they function as an efficient community. As vacation rental platforms will help property owners to oversee all areas of their listing to maximize exposure and revenue, this trend will keep growing in the coming years as well.

Mobile booking is on the rise

Without any doubt, anyone can say that mobile browsing and buying through mobile phones is on the rise. According to Criteo, over 80% of last-minute bookings in the travel industry are made on mobile devices. Hence it is important for vacation rental platforms to optimize their websites for mobile devices to grow their business.

Having a mobile-optimized vacation rental platform facilitates guests to search for accommodations easily, communicate efficiently, and book their stay and trip via their smartphone which leads to quicker conversions.

Now that you are familiar with the vacation industry travel trends to watch out for in 2020, you will have ideas and know what to look out for in the new year. Your vacation rental business can adapt to these rental market trends and by planning your marketing strategies around them, you can attract more customers overall.

In this rapidly changing environment, technology will play a significant role than ever in the revolution of the vacation rental industry. Vacation rental platforms must ensure that they use robust technology solutions that allow them to grow their business to stay competitive in the dynamic industry of vacation rentals.