TripAdvisor reports that 59% of U.S. travelers plan to say in a vacation rental this summer. This is great news for vacation rental companies.
This is also interesting to compare to this report that hotel rates are probably going up, and expected to be the highest they’ve been in 20 years. I think this is good news for vacation rental companies. Increased hotel rates will lead some hotel travelers to look at vacation rentals as a more economical option, particularly with more awareness around the category.
Google is throwing it’s hat in the ring for hotel bookings. How far behind are vacation rentals? I thought this quote was particularly interesting, “Compared to other search formats, Google Hotel Ads has delivered a 45% higher conversion rate. It reaches a massive audience and the distribution cost has been good,…” There’s no doubt that Google is the 800 lb. gorilla when it comes to search and traffic. If HomeAway or TripAdvisor could ink a deal for vacation rentals, it could be a huge boost for category awareness. Historically, vacation rentals haven’t done too well on OTA’s like Expedia and Travelocity, so Google may be hesitant to dip their toe in the water too soon. Time will tell.
Here’s an interesting tidbit from Booking.com, “According to Booking.com data, almost half of reservations worldwide are made within 48 hours and are booked on a mobile device.” This data is in regards to hotels, but I think it is applicable for the vr space as well. The trends are definitely heading towards shorter lead times and bookings done more and more on mobile devices.
With all of the recent press that Airbnb has been getting (here and here, for example), it’s interesting to hear that they are the least favorite option for Millennials, despite the fact that almost half of those surveyed say they use the service often or regularly. Here’s why I think this is relevant for the vr space. The Millennial generation is becoming the most coveted in the lodging industry. (Even The New York Times covered this a few years ago.) There are 74 million of them, they have a growing disposable income given that they don’t tend to own homes or have children, and they are big on social media. This means that not only are these folks becoming a predominant force in the market but they’re sharing their opinions and experiences way more often, and to a larger degree, (via social media) than other groups.