Research: Consumers Want More Trips, But May Look to Short-Term Rentals

NATIONAL REPORT—As part of its Consumer NOW Index Q4 report, consumer insights platform Quantilope found that consumers have a greater interest in purchasing adventures and tours, but plan to stay in short-term rentals.

In Q4, significantly more consumers (+3%) planned to increase their spending on adventures and tours (10%) than in Q3. Yet, anticipated spend did not increase for hotels & resorts, suggesting an increased popularity in short-term rentals, according to the report.

Consumers could have been channeling their wanderlust to plan for future trips, or they could be planning more weekend getaways to escape the many months of cabin fever experienced far too early in the year. Some may have even opted to forgo their homes or leases to periodically relocate to different towns and cities. After all, most consumers can work from anywhere these days as long as they have an internet connection.

“Depending on who you ask, work from home culture has its many perks—sweatpants for conference calls, no packed lunches and lack of a commute,” said Max Cryns, research consultant, Quantilope. “Yet one perk that has become especially appealing is the ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection. As offices remain closed, we will see more employees traveling without taking vacation days. Consumers’ itch to travel has not gone away, even amidst a pandemic, and short-term rentals that offer private getaways without crowds will continue to see a surge until the virus is fully under control, and perhaps long after.”

Supporting these ideas around adventures and tours is the stable purchase intention observed for hotels and resorts; if consumers are doing more adventuring and touring, but aren’t increasing their spend on hotels & resorts, that leaves two clear explanations: consumers are taking more day trips, or they are leveraging private rentals for their stays, according to the research.

Travel certainly isn’t dead, but it does look quite different. Short-term rental companies will enjoy a successful 2021 by ensuring their booking processes are efficient with strong user experiences, competitive rates and expanding locations as more travelers are seeking private getaways, the report found. Hotels may consider partnering with some of these private rental companies or adding a new business line under their corporate umbrella for private rental properties, as Marriott has done.

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