A study by a trade group representing the short lets sector says it’s confident of recovering to 2019 levels of business following the hiatus caused by the pandemic.
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association says there’s an 89 per cent average confidence rating about the outlook for the sector for the remainder of 2021, up from 69 per cent in February.
There’s also an average confidence rating of 83 per cent for 2022.
More than half the respondents believe the sector will enjoy a quick recovery to 2019 levels of bookings.
Around three-quarters of respondents believe they will return to profit this year and around half of the respondents have recruited staff this year; virtually all believe the staycation market will be the dominant factor in the sector’s recovery.
The most important issues for UK staycation guests reported by member companies were cleaning standards and frequency of cleaning in the accommodation, the ability to social distance during their stay, and having socially distanced check-ins.
One STAA member, Altido, has introduced some new services to help their short term tenants. Jeremy Slater, general manager, says: “We are seeing a lot of requests from international travellers for help in purchasing mandatory Covid tests, so we have partnered [with a clinic] to deliver government-approved Covid tests direct to our guests’ accommodation prior to their arrival.”
Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA, adds: “Data shows that bookings, revenues and occupancy levels are starting to recover towards the levels seen in 2019. Since last month’s reopening, our members have been working hard to provide their customers with a top class, enjoyable and COVID-safe experience and evidence suggests that they are succeeding.”
She continues: “Customer preferences have certainly moved towards short term and holiday rentals across the board, where they are reassured by the high level of cleaning standards and can practice social distancing effectively. This bodes well for the future when all restrictions are finally lifted, including those on international travel.”