Finally, after a long, lockdown-ridden 2020, mass vaccinations allowed Americans the thrill of a summer vacation. However, with the continuing threat of COVID-19 variants, vacationers remain wary and are opting for nature-oriented destinations.
In fact, as early as April, occupancy rates for short-term rentals near national parks, beaches, and rural areas in the US surpassed 61%.
This post-pandemic surge to the great outdoors created an imbalance in the holiday rental market, with more vacationers looking to rent than hosts able to welcome them.
This is why Airbnb and Vrbo (an Expedia Group company) find themselves competing for hosts that offer accommodation in non-urban areas.
In March, Vrbo launched FastStart, which allows Airbnb hosts to transfer their Airbnb ratings into the Vrbo platform.
They also started a marketing campaign aimed at Airbnb hosts offering entire houses or larger properties.
A month later, Airbnb “retaliated” by simplifying the steps for people who want to rent their property for the first time alongside the existing 7 million Airbnb listings.
Vrbo has already convinced thousands of Airbnb hosts with large properties to list on both sites. However, it is still uncertain who will win the race for this non-urban market, and for those who listed their vacation homes on both sites, the risk of double-bookings persists.
As for property rankings, visitors will be making decisions based on the usual features like high capacity french door refrigerators or high-end organic mattresses from distinguished brands.