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September 11, 2020

Zoom towns are becoming a popular destination for Short Term Rental travelers

Zoom towns are becoming a popular destination

As the pandemic has become an unavoidable part of our daily lives, “Zoom towns” are becoming a popular destination for short term rental travelers. Especially amongst digital nomads and remote workers.

The new normality is pushing more companies to rely on remote work as a measure to prevent COVID-19 spreading. The current circumstances created the perfect scenario for the boom of the so-called “Zoom towns”: rural and suburban getaways for travelers looking for a place to isolate themselves from crowded cities. 

Remote work has been here for a while, but the need for social distancing while being able to fully perform your job was unheard of. Now as the internet only improves with developments such as Starlink people with a laptop will be able to connect worldwide to the internet. This has been a key to drive the trend forward in travel and vacation rentals. 

Zoom towns with a higher-paid occupancy rate 

The last Key Data report shows how some leisure destinations had an increase in it’s paid occupancy rate during the Labor Day weekend, outperforming their last year indicators. 

“Most markets we analyzed will see increases over last year and some markets will do exceptionally better. Big Sky, Montana; the Outer Banks of North Carolina; and Hilton Head Island saw a 39%, 27%, and 25% increase, respectively.”

As seen above, best-performing destinations are located in rural and suburban areas. They are reachable to a driving distance, yet far enough to avoid the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas. Knowledge workers – Usually the millennials who kept their jobs despite the pandemic and are able to work from home – are the segment who mainly drives the increase in the “Zoom” destinations. 

Adjusted Paid Occupancy is the percentage of guest nights booked, out of the guest nights available.

Zoom towns are becoming a popular destination

Steady recovery from pandemic for the hospitality industry

Some markets like the Chinese, are now showing pre-pandemic behavior with “seasonal fluctuations” in the occupancy rate, meaning that COVID-19 is no longer determining changes in the industry and the restrictions that come with it. 

On the other hand, the US has shown a steady increase in its absolute occupancy reaching an average of almost 50%, performing better than the European average. 

China Back to Normal Seasonal Occ Fluctuations - STR - Stratton Hospitality

Will this trend last when COVID-19 ends?

It is uncertain when COVID-19 will end, but what is true is that it will change the way we travel once and for all.

Cleanliness and social distancing will be the top features travelers will consider as essential when booking a Short Term Rental. Two factors that will directly benefit towns of the peripheries because of their unique characteristics. 

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Sources: KeyData. STR. NPR.

Edgard Calero - Social Media Manager - Stratton Hospitality

Edgard Calero

Social Media Manager at Stratton Hospitality

Category: Travel Trends

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