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Short-term rentals: where life and travel merge

The findings in a report published earlier this year by Airbnb clearly show that the lines between living and travelling are blurring. According to Airbnb, ‘we’re on the threshold of a new era of travel’.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things for individuals and businesses, including the travel sector. According to Airbnb’s report, travel and tourism represented more than 10% of the global economy pre-Covid. Much of this was racked up by travellers going to the same places at the exact times of the year.

With bans enforced globally, travel and tourism came to an abrupt halt, and revenue sank to its lowest in more than 30 years.

Pent-up demand for travel

However, as pandemic restrictions gradually lift and travel restarts, Airbnb says things are looking different. ‘We’re shifting from travelling at all the same times to all the same old places to many of us living anywhere, at any time, for however long. This is not a temporary reaction to many months of restrictions and isolation – it’s a step towards a world in which living and travelling are merging.’

Airbnb says they’re seeing an apparent pent-up demand for travel as this is what their research shows people have missed the most.

Travel is far more accessible for many people as flexible working hours, four-day workweeks, and remote working makes this possible. The ability to live anywhere, Airbnb says, is now part of the future of travel.

Airbnb’s report highlights

  1. Travelling anytime
    Before the pandemic, people weren’t limited to where they could go, but they were restricted by how long they could be away for and when they could go. Now, with remote or more flexible work and education options, travellers can go away anytime. Of the five countries Airbnb surveyed, the number one response to how people’s travel will change if their circumstances allow it was that they’d travel more often.
  2. Travelling anywhere
    The move away from mass tourism was already afoot before the pandemic. Still, thanks to people now thinking more flexibly and considering destinations further from home, we’re seeing a faster shift in the trend for a greater desire to try different destinations in different locations. As a result, people are now going ‘everywhere’.

  3. Turning travelling into living
    This flexibility of travelling anywhere at any time and with the time to do it also means that travel is becoming more of a lifestyle. The second highest response from those surveyed by Airbnb was that if respondents have the flexibility, they’ll undoubtedly travel for longer.

  4. Families, not businesses, are powering travel.
    Pre-pandemic travel was supported mainly by business travellers. According to the report, business travel accounted for 12% of air travel but 75% of airline profits. The significant shift Airbnb’s report reveals is that as restrictions lift, families, not executives, are the driving force behind travel. In Airbnb’s survey of 10 000 people across five countries, more consumers identify as ‘family-focused voyagers’, 42% higher than any other type of traveller.

In a new world where travel can happen all the time, to destinations anywhere globally, the economic benefits can uplift more people in more places. With bans being eased and the scope of travel transforming, if you’re considering investing in a short-term rental, read our ten reasons to invest in Airbnb rentals. The future looks bright!

To read Airbnb’s full report, click here.