Holiday Season Travel Drops in 2020 Amidst COVID-19, But Not as Much as Anticipated
Over the years, the vacation rental industry has been flourishing, with millions of people choosing fully furnished homes or apartments as opposed to hotels. But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, all that came to a sudden halt.
Without a doubt, the industry standing at the epicenter of this current pandemic is the international tourism industry, which according to World Tourism Organization, dropped by a staggering 72% from January to October 2020.
With the dust on the 2020 holidays season now settled and through an analysis of Payoneer data, we can now reveal how the pandemic hit vacation rental hosts during this usually lucrative period. It turns out, the decline in revenue for worldwide hosts wasn’t quite as bad as the rest of the year.
Vacation Hosts Feel Only a Slight Pinch During the Holidays
According to Payoneer’s data, vacation rental hosts in the top 15 markets experienced only a 31% year-over-year drop in rental revenue this past holiday season, as opposed to the expectation for a much higher loss due to the pandemic’s global impact on the holiday season – a time in which people usually go on vacation.
While multiple waves of the virus ploughed through countries around the world during the most wonderful time of the year, our findings suggest that the rising number of COVID-19 cases certainly didn’t stop people from traveling. After such a turbulent year, it seems many travelers were more eager than ever to take time off.
Holiday Bookings in India Soar
While property hosts in most markets took a hit, India seemed to have the secret sauce to onboarding more guests during the 2020 holiday season. Indian property hosts experienced an impressive 86% year-over-year increase in rental revenue compared to 2019’s holiday season, which saw only a 43% year-over-year increase. This may be due to the fact that new cases of the virus dropped drastically in December around certain parts of the country, offering a safer and more attractive holiday spot for both domestic and foreign travelers.
Vacation Rentals in Brazil Remain Steady Despite Alarming COVID Cases
In South America, Brazilian vacation rental hosts felt a sting this past holiday season. Local hosts in Brazil experienced a 4% year-over-year dip in rental revenue this holiday season, which is surprising considering the massive amount of new COVID-19 cases that were found in mid-December.
Nevertheless, the Brazilian tourism industry should feel optimistic for the coming years ahead, as last summer Airbnb partnered with Brazil’s Sao Paulo state to help encourage more travel to the country once the pandemic subsides.
COVID-19 Takes Off in Russia but Hosts Don’t Feel a Rough Landing
Another country that saw a surge in new coronavirus cases during the holiday season was Russia, where property hosts experienced just a 5% year-over-year drop in rental revenue.
This may well have been due to a concerted push for domestic tourism by the Russian government, meant to make up for the lack of visitors coming from abroad. In one of the support programs, local tourists were entitled to a 20% cashback on the cost of their trip from the government. Results of these efforts have also been seen in an uplift in domestic tourism which grew by 20% towards the end of last year.
‘Twas a Tolerable Holiday Season for the Average Host
While countries around the world tackled new waves of the virus, many travelers still booked trips to celebrate the holidays abroad. Although it wasn’t the year the vacation rental industry had hoped for, it certainly wasn’t as catastrophic as they imagined it would be, especially given the tighter lockdowns and skyrocketing cases of coronavirus.
Although governments around the world highly recommended people to stay home, our findings indicate that there were still those who were very eager to book a vacation of some sort.
If you’re a vacation rental host, Payoneer’s secure and cost-effective global payments solution can help you get paid for renting your property with ease. Whether you’re a host on Airbnb, HomeAway or Booking.com, we make processing vacation rental payments easy, so you can concentrate on what’s most important, looking after your guests.