Skift Take

If you’ve seen a tweetstorm about the alleged “Airbnb collapse” and are wondering if the data seems too dramatic – you’re not alone, or even wrong.

If you’ve seen a tweetstorm about the alleged “Airbnb collapse” and are wondering if the data seems too dramatic – you’re not alone, or even wrong. 

Using what he said was AllTheRooms data, Reventure Consulting CEO Nick Gerli claimed that revenue per available listing in cities such as Phoenix, Arizona fell 47%, when considering 3-month averages over the 12 months through May 2023, and Orlando, Florida’s dropped nearly 38%.

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But let’s put it in context.

I spoke on Wednesday to Richard Clarke at AB Bernstein to help me understand this. Clarke is the managing director at brokerage firm AB Bernstein and covers global hotels, OTAs and short-term rentals. 

“This is selective data sourcing,” he noted. “It’s been a fairly consistent message that some markets in the U.S. are seeing a drop in price and demand in the post-covid normalization. There are properties trying to hold prices at 2021, 2022 levels – in 2023, when there is a wider choice of places to go to. Prices need to come back to equilibrium now. Airbnb is an international company and what it loses in Arizona it can make up for in Croatia and Mexico.” 

“Hotels came down a bit earlier because pricing is more dynamic. With short-term rentals, pricing is lethargic and has come down dramatically. Sure 100% the markets are normalizing everywhere but the data is selective to present that in an extreme way, overly focused on the U.S. There are plenty of strong growth pockets for Airbnb in markets like Eastern Europe and Asia.”

AB Bernstein’s new report on Airbnb emphasizes the company’s unique positioning in the lodging industry — especially as its users skew younger and from emerging markets. 

Remember the chart from yesterday’s edition showing rising occupancies, while others depicted a dip? Short-term rental analysts as well as industry professionals all agree the market is normalizing, and that means a fall in occupancies given how much supply has grown, and if the prices remain stubbornly high.

Here’s more data that validates the point: In Hawaii, which is a big U.S. tourism market, is seeing occupancies slide — in the Big Island as much as 14% compared to last year and 27% compared to 2019. And in Kaua’i, it’s down 1.1% compared to last year and 28% compared to 2019. In the Big Island, the average daily rate was $228, which is 2.3% less than May 2022 but 48.7% more than May 2019. And in Kaua’i, the average daily rate was $375, which is 4.6% less than May 2022 but 47.1% more than May 2019. This data comes from the Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report, issued by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism and compiled by Transparent Intelligence.

It’s a similar story in Rhode Island, which otherwise welcomes tourists getting away for weekend trips in the summer — all but one of approximately 15 to 20 respondents in a Rhode Island Short-Term Rental Association report said that they were experiencing lower demand for their rentals this year. 

According to AirDNA’s latest monthly review of the U.S. short-term rental market, demand in May 2023 increased 11.9% year over year, while available listings reached 1.498 million, up 15.3% year over year. As supply grew faster than demand, occupancy sat 3.1% below last year, though a comfortable 5.6% above 2019 levels. So it’s not so much a slowdown, as much as sobering up.

Property management software provider Jurny has integrated with Airbnb to automate guest communication, review, and reservation management features. The Los Angeles-based company released JurnyOS 2.0, its version of “AI Play” with GPT-4-powered features that can automate operational tasks and guest management for short-term rental owners and property managers.

Elsewhere on Skift

Who wants a fancy three-course meal served on a platter when you can hike up a hill to forage some chanterelles? 

Exactly the question some tourists are asking. 

From tea leaf-picking near Tokyo with views of Japan’s Mount Fuji, to exploring breadfruit and banana plantations on Cook Islands in the South Pacific, or harvesting grapes in the Douro Valley in Portugal – annual harvests hold a seasonal promise for travelers who want to connect with their destination through a different, sensory experience.

Skift’s Selene Brophy writes about Canadian company ToursByLocals, which runs private group harvest tours, designed by local tour guides across its networks in 187 countries. 

Here are some quick facts: Portugal is amongst the top 10 countries for bookings for ToursByLocals right now, including Japan, Spain, France, and the U.S., and the company said that its overall bookings are up 66% through the first half of this year. The average booking value for a listed tour guide is about $576,  including multi-day tour bookings, which make up about 4% of overall annual bookings. 

Private Guides Craft Niche Harvest Season Tours

That’s it from STR Report this week, the newsletter will take a break for July 4, see you in your inbox on Wednesday, July 5.

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


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Tags: airbnb, sstrr

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