Airbnb and other short let operators will be the first part of the rental sector to recover once the pandemic eases, it’s been claimed.
The sector’s fledgling trade body - the UK Short Term Accommodation Association - says it’s now concentrating on recovery, especially when the travel industry resumes business as normal.
STAA chair Merilee Karr says: “Whilst we all know how tough a year 2020 was for the whole of the hospitality and tourism industries, we now have to focus on making the most of the opportunities to recover this year.”
The association cites the latest findings of STR’s Global Traveler Panel, when asked about attitudes to different types of holiday accommodation after the pandemic.
The sentiment study found that short-term rentals and small hotels with fewer than 50 rooms were the only two categories of accommodation with a positive net interest from respondents - that is, the difference between ‘more interest’ and ‘less interest’, reflecting greater interest post-pandemic than pre-pandemic.
Serviced apartments, traditional Bed & Breakfast accommodation and larger hotels both showed negative sentiment post-pandemic.
“It’s very encouraging to see that short-term rentals have shown the highest level of resilience to the unprecedented restrictions the industry has had to bear” according to Karr.
“The encouraging signs are that customer confidence in booking short-term rentals is positive and, with staycations likely to be the focus for 2021, whether Brits travel to the seaside or explore cities such as London or Bath, we hope to welcome them to a variety of beautiful homes when they venture out for their much-needed holidays later in the year" she adds.
“Much of this confidence, I believe, can be traced back to a significant change in consumer preferences that have been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the last five years, we have seen a mushrooming in demand for the ‘home from home’ experience that short-term rentals offer customers but now, with the added requirement for social distancing and high standards of cleanliness and safety, it seems that customers recognise that short term rentals are better placed to deliver this than other types of accommodation.”