Skift Take

Occupancy levels for US vacation rentals in July 2023 are pacing about 5 percent lower than the previous year, falling from 37 percent to 32 percent. However, rates have only decreased by 4.8 percent due to last-minute discounts, and guest behavior doesn’t seem to be the primary factor.

Stat of the Day: Thinking that you, like us, are wondering what’s happening to occupancy levels this summer, we had some numbers crunched for us by data analysis firm Beyond Pricing and this is what it found: U.S. occupancy for July is pacing about 5 percentage points down year-on-year, from 37 percent in 2022 to 32 percent in 2023. 

At the moment, 2023 is looking very similar in occupancy to 2019, and just slightly above where 2020 was at this point. This is a big fall from the past two years and it seems to be taking a lot of hosts and property managers by surprise. When we look at the rates they are asking for, for the same time period in the U.S., the ADR is down just 4.8 percent year-on-year, and most of that is due to last minute-discounts, with August down only 1.6 percent.

“We aren’t seeing a sizable shift in guest behavior that is fueling this fall in occupancy, but they just have so many options for their stay, with U.S. STR supply still growing in the double digits,” said Jeffrey Breece, manager of revenue management at Beyond Pricing. “The end effect is that we have 2022 prices at 2019 occupancy, which is bringing the industry down in 2023.”

You Read It Here First

What kind of guests would hosts make? Consider that thought. Hostshare is (rather, will be) a platform vacation rental hosts can use to trade unbooked nights with other hosts. Simply put, you can play The Holiday with other short-term rental hosts for an annual fee. It’s a subscription service for last-minute bookings to and for hosts. The cost: $395 per year, the benefit: a maximum of 21 nights of free stay (cleaning fees not included).

The company says the platform will go live as soon as it gathers a critical mass of subscribers. If the idea resonates with hosts, we’ll add. Sean Wilkinson, the founder of the company told Skift, “The idea is for hosts to trade their unbooked last minute properties to other hosts who are responsible and know how to take care of the place.” 

New This Morning

Airbnb, together with OpenStreetMap, ran an analysis, and here are some highlights: In 2022, U.S. hosts on Airbnb welcomed more than 44 million guest arrivals to areas where there are no hotels. U.S. hosts generated more than $10.5 billion in earnings. And the following towns had their first-ever Airbnb booking this quarter:

  • Bailey, North Carolina 
  • Independence, Wisconsin 
  • Fort Branch, Indiana 
  • Pine Level, North Carolina
  • Des Allemands, Louisiana 
  • Seneca, Illinois 
  • Rockdale, Wisconsin 
  • Windsor, South Carolina
  • Ulen, Indiana
  • Pulaski, Michigan 

Elsewhere on Skift 

Digital ticketing solutions for tours and attractions are seeing sports events emerge as a winning category for customer engagement as travelers continue to plan around bucket-list events. Football fans visiting Barcelona find attending a local match as much of a bucket list experience as seeing the Spanish city’s historical temple of Sagrada Familia.

Travel Brands Woo Customers with Bucket List Sports Events

The U.S. Travel Association has unveiled its biannual travel forecast and the data that jumped out to the group was strong inbound international travel. It now stands at 84 percent of 2019 levels and is estimated to reach 99 percent in 2024. According to the forecast, inbound international spending is up 33.7 percent from a year ago and is estimated to reach $133 billion in 2023. The association expects it to hit $185 billion by 2026.

New Forecast for Travel to U.S.: ‘Significantly Upgraded’

Skift Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman writes the Skift Short-Term Rental ReportSend news tips to [email protected].

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