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AIM 2022 Session Recap: A Brave New World: Navigating COVID-Times Travel

Travel sentiment and trends indicate a sea change in consumers’ approach to COVID-times travel as a whole. 

Although the continual emergence of the new variants reminds us that we are not yet out of the pandemic mud, travel sentiment and trends indicate a sea change in consumers’ approach to COVID-times travel as a whole. 

Following a holiday season that has seen double-digit increases in demand, bookings, and nightly rates, travel recovery – perhaps not as linear as we’d hoped it would be – is very much underway, and short-term rentals are catalyzing the ecosystem’s bounce back to greatness, stated Joseph Binestock, Director of Sales, Americas at Guesty.

An unprecedented two years for the industry created by the pandemic brought the benefits of flexible rentals into the spotlight. Flexible rentals provide privacy, flexibility, social distance, light-touch stays, mid-stay amenities and work-friendly facilities.  In addition, new traveler personas have emerged

Summer has been hot already for bookings. From June to August, US volume and average nightly rates, overall, are up+58% compared to 2021 and 69% higher than 2019. Average nightly rates ($300 per night) are 26% higher compared to 2021 and 29% higher than 2019.


Bookings of 14 days and more are up 121% since 2019; and are 33% higher than 2020.

Airbnb reports that long-term stays of 28 nights or more remained its fastest growing category by trip length and accounted for 22% of gross nights booked in Q4, up 16% from Q4 2019.

The percentage of active listings accepting stays of 28 nights or longer was over 90% at the end of Q4. In 2021, nearly 175,000 guests stayed for three months or longer in an Airbnb.

AltoVita said 68% of companies are seeing an increased demand for extended stays and Vrbo said it’s experiencing a 68% increase in demand for 21- to 30-day stays.

Here are more strong comments from the session:

  • Market-wise, stays of 14 more days in Miami Dade County are up 196% in 2021 vs 2019. 
  • Families are looking for COVID-safe accommodation for their unvaccinated children and 44% of families say they are more likely to work remotely from a place that’s not their home. 
  • Luxury travelers are seeing a 36% increase in ANR in Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2020. Reservation volume for luxe properties increased by 37% in 2021 compared to 2020. 
  • Students are seeking dorm alternatives. In January 2022, dozens of US colleges returned from winter break to online classes due to the Omicron variant and a surge in COVID cases.
  • For longer-stay business travelers, Airbnb reports a 2.5x uptick in the share of long-term stays for self-reported business travel and 22% of gross nights booked on Airbnb were 28 nights or more in the last quarter of 2021 -- this is 16% higher than 2019.
  • One-third of industry pros believe that new-age digital nomads are here to stay post-Covid as 11% of Airbnb long-term stay bookers in 2021 have reported living a nomadic lifestyle.

Click here for the slides.


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