The Future of Travel 2021 Reports – HomeToGo

HomeToGo make a guest appearance on the Transparent blog to tell us about their 2021 “Future of Travel” reports for the US & EU.

The world’s fastest-growing booking channel, HomeToGo, have released a comprehensive analysis of travel behavior divided into two reports, one for the United States and one for Europe. In both “The Future of Travel” reports, we combined the results of a consumer and property manager survey with exclusive internal data and resources from Transparent, to build valuable user insights, such as average booking volume, length of stay, book-to-check-in, and more. 

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Our hope is that, in overlapping insight into user behaviour and consumer intentions, offering this exclusive analysis will help give our colleagues in the travel industry the best chance possible at bouncing back from the hit we all took in the pandemic.. Therefore these white papers are dedicated to all those who have found themselves struggling to get by during the pandemic. HomeToGo has shared in that pain but we believe that the analysis showcased in these white papers forecasts a brighter future and a guiding light for us all.

The Future of Travel Insights

We’ve collated some of the highlights across the 2 reports here, to give you a flavour of the insights in store.

Guests are ready to travel

The headline that should have everyone excited about this year is that an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they plan to travel in 2021.

Americans are especially eager during the ongoing winter months and in the upcoming summer season. In Europe, we focused consumer analysis on Germany and Spain––two distinct travel markets. Although there are clear differences in their travel preferences, we noted a 20% increase in average booking volume across Europe. The US is similarly seeing an increase in average booking volume, although we expect to see that value change as more last-minute bookings for short trips come in and the year progresses.

Rural destinations are most popular

Across the United States and Europe, we have observed a strong preference for booking in rural destinations. According to internal data, nine out of ten travelers are searching for a vacation rental in a rural destination.

Cabins in the United States specifically saw a 148% increase in search volume compared to the previous year. So it makes sense that natural areas, such as parks and beaches, are popular with both American and European travelers. Indeed, 63% of German guests said in HomeToGo’s consumer survey that they planned to visit a beach destination within the next 12 months. Furthermore, 60% selected “natural areas”. Although not quite as popular among Spanish travelers, a not-insignificant 46% said they would visit a beach in the next 12 months and moreover, 57% indicated that they intended to visit “natural areas”. American respondents meanwhile selected “Beach” and “Natural Areas” to the tune of 46% and 45% respectively.

Vacation rental stays are longer

Another exciting takeaway is that guests on both sides of the pond are booking longer stays. We’ve seen a 190% increase in length of stay among 2021 bookings compared to 2020 among our top-five European markets and some of the top destinations in the United States are boasting a significant increase in average length of stay. We see a 30% increase in average length of stay in Florida (13 days) and a 67% increase in Southern California (10 days). 63% of US-based property managers reported an increase in bookings and that 82% of guests are booking longer stays. In addition, 90% of respondents said that they are noticing more last-minute bookings. Similarly, 81% of Europe-based property managers said they noticed an uptick in last-minute bookings––a trend we expect to continue growing in 2021. 

What The Future of Travel Means

With these trends in mind, we are recommending that property managers review cancellation policies and consider offering free cancellations to guests in order to make them feel more comfortable in booking. Secondly, removing minimum and maximum stays and other stay restrictions can help appeal to last-minute bookers. To make up for last-minute vacancies, property managers should consider offering special rates as dates approach to make their property stand out among the competition. Reviewing rates in this manner is also shown to boost OTA search rankings. You can download the full reports for more extensive insights.

Bottom line, HomeToGo’s analysis in the United States and Europe shows a clear light at the end of the tunnel. Download the reports for Europe & US to dive in further and contact HomeToGo at channel.manager@hometogo.com with any questions or information on listing at HomeToGo.

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You can also visit the Transparent COVID-19 tracker for current short term rental recovery data.