In the ever-expanding realm of short-term rentals, events serve as powerful catalysts for boosting profitability among property managers and hosts. Ranging from historical milestones to grand sporting spectacles, these gatherings command attention from both domestic and international tourists, leaving an indelible mark on the tourism industry for months on end.
With such lucrative potential at stake, savvy short-term rental operators must incorporate these events into their annual planning and strategy formulation, rather than relegating them to mere afterthoughts.
We have previously detailed how short-term rental operators can predict demand using the example of three key sporting events: The Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and the Rugby World Cup in Paris, France.
In this article, we explore the substantial impact that events can have on short-term rental management profitability, substantiated by empirical data drawn from ALTIDO‘s Coronation bookings.
We had an illuminating chat with ALTIDO CEO William Parry, who shed light on the impact Coronation had on the company’s bookings and will continue to have in the days to come on the domestic market at large.
- Historical events like the Coronation draw significant interest from domestic and international tourists and can impact the tourism industry for several months. Thus, it is crucial for short-term rental operators to incorporate them into their yearly strategy rather than relying on ad-hoc planning.
- Airbnb is endeavoring to attract occasional hosts to handle supply spikes caused by events with initiatives such as bonus schemes and commercials, a tactic the company may be replicating for the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris as well.
- It is interesting to note that private rooms are an easier category to push in cities with strict short-term rental regulations, which makes Airbnb’s recent push for occasional hosts to rent out rooms a logical move.
Altido is a hospitality provider that manages a range of properties across Europe, including Airbnbs, serviced apartments, hotels, stately homes, and private residences. The company has shown impressive growth and has hosted 1,199,978 guests to date, taken 321,752 bookings, sold 885,907 nights, and formed 10 channel partnerships.
Can you tell us more about how you predict the Coronation event will drive tourism to London and the UK for months to follow?
Historically, major royal events have drawn significant interest and attention from both domestic and international tourists. The Coronation placed the UK tourism industry front and center of a highly anticipated, historical event with a global audience. We are seeing short-term rental property owners benefit from this renewed focus on the UK’s cultural heritage and this increased exposure will, in turn, elevate the profile of London and the UK as tourist destinations for 2023.
The capital city is likely to remain front of mind as one of the most enticing options for international and domestic tourists who wish to immerse themselves at this moment in history.
How does ALTIDO prepare for such an event and what measures do you take to ensure your guests have a memorable experience?
We increased the staff headcount on the ground to get ready for the summer and we consider this event as kicking off the high season. We aim to offer outstanding experiences to our guests and having the right people in the right position is key to providing the best hospitality.
To ensure a memorable experience, we focus on exceptional customer service combined with local knowledge – we’ll be supporting guests with listings optimized to showcase property benefits specific to the event (proximity, transport options, etc), flexible check-in and check-out options where possible and competitive market pricing.
Can you share any insights into the demographics of guests who booked with ALTIDO during this time? Did you see an increase in international or domestic bookings?
Bookings from international visitors jumped in line with overall bookings but the ratios remained roughly the same, with 20% of ALTIDO’s guests in London over the Coronation weekend being American, while 21% were European and 9% were based in the UK. Guests traveling from Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea accounted for a further 17% of ALTIDO’s guests during this time. The majority (60%) were over 31 years old and 35% were aged between 18 and 35.
What advice would you give to short-term rental hosts and managers looking to capitalize on upcoming events in their area?
In terms of capitalizing on upcoming, local events, here are some tips and advice that short-term rental hosts and managers may find helpful:
- Stay up-to-date with local events: keep an eye on upcoming events and festivals in your area via local event calendars and social media and plan accordingly for the expected attendance and demographic.
- Optimize listings: make sure that listings are optimized to attract visitors who are attending the event. Highlighting the proximity of event locations definitely helps along with transport options.
- Set competitive pricing: consider adjusting rental pricing to be competitive with other accommodation options in the area. Revenue management software can support automating part of this process.
- Be flexible with check-in and check-out times: visitors attending events may have different schedules and may need flexibility with check-in and check-out times. Consider offering early, self-check-in or late check-out options when possible.
- Provide helpful information: Guests coming to your rental for an event may not be familiar with the area. Provide them with helpful information, such as directions to the event, restaurant recommendations, and tips for getting around.
How do you anticipate the short-term rental industry as a whole will be impacted by this event?
Following the significant interest and attention surrounding the Coronation, I am sure it will have a positive impact on the STR and tourism sector as a whole.
Increased nightly rates, occupancy, and property stock across the Coronation period represent an immediate increase in revenue within the STR industry, supporting exponential growth. Not only do we expect higher occupancy in London but tourists may extend their stays to explore other parts of the UK, boosting the overall tourism industry.
Moving forward, events on the scale of the Coronation solidify the importance of the short-term rental industry within the tourism sector and its ability to satisfy developing demand. Operators were proactively reaching out for new stock to meet guest requirements (Airbnb initiated a bonus scheme for new Hosts in London during the Coronation celebrations) demonstrating how integral the STR industry is to tourism and the evolution of the marketplace.
In conclusion, events serve as pivotal drivers for the short-term rental industry, significantly influencing profitability and overall success for property managers and hosts. By staying abreast of upcoming events and incorporating them into annual planning strategies, operators can capitalize on heightened tourism interest and secure a competitive edge in an ever-evolving marketplace.
As demonstrated by Altido’s Coronation bookings, embracing flexibility, local knowledge, and demographic diversity in response to these events can yield substantial rewards. Ultimately, a proactive and well-informed approach to leveraging events within the short-term rental landscape is essential to thriving in this dynamic sector.