One of the major learnings from this pandemic in terms of changing traveler behavior: short-term vacation rentals have become the preferred lodging type in an ongoing era of social distancing.

Short-term rentals, which we define as furnished self-contained vacation apartments or rooms that are rented for short periods of time on platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and Roomster, generally performed better than similar quality hotel competitors like Hilton, Marriott, and others according to our Accommodation Demand Tracker (ADT) – see below.

Bookings for hotels were down 87% year-over-year at the peak of the pandemic in April, while short-term rentals were only down by 29%.

Interestingly, recovery for the two sectors differs strongly by country. For example, short-term rentals saw a major recovery across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, whereas classic hotels were primarily preferred by people in Italy, Spain, and France.

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