Extended travel combined with remote working is giving a boost to short-term rental (STR) and Airbnb accommodation.
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A recent report by Canadian-based AirDNA revealed a sudden quarterly demand growth for short-term rentals, compared with below 5 per cent growth for hotels, which the managing director of Australia-based Alice’s Home, Seiko Ma, said is also on show in Australia.
The rise of remote work while travelling is being touted as “bleisure”, with Ms Ma highlighting that the trend could upend the traditional divide between leisure and business travel.
Noting 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic as having changed the business landscape, Ms Ma said remote work has become not only tolerated, but accepted.
“Now remote workers are extending their work trips, or choosing to travel and work remotely. This trend is becoming a lot more common in 2024 and is resulting in increased demand on STR and Airbnb accommodation.”
Ms Ma noted that the rise in STR demand is “reflecting changing traveler preferences and the ability of short-term rental hosts to react swiftly to these changes”.
While hotels suit business travellers due to their proximity to city centres and office facilities, Ms Ma said “bleisure travellers want to be outside of large city centres”.
“Most hotel accommodation is situated in city centres, and STR/Airbnb property is available close to beaches and other scenic areas,” she continued.
The managing director noted that Alice’s Home is consistently receiving requests for STR accommodation from those who intend to work as they travel.
Another benefit to STR accommodation, she pointed out, is the ability for travellers to “settle down for a short time” as they are oftentimes set up for longer occupation periods.
Looking ahead, Ms Ma believes “this year, we will see this trend become more commonplace, as remote working becomes common among many more industries, and efficient systems are in place to work efficiently with remote staff or consultants”.
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