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Ciao, Italia! Como Leads the Way in Uptick in New Reservation Volume For a Country That’s Seen the Worst of COVID-19

Italy is recovering — one of the many signs of optimism for a country that was brought to its feet over a global health pandemic that has impacted the entire world over the last few months.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as many indicators point to the short-term rental industry’s overall recovery. Airbnb and other booking sites have reported a surge in demand, and 61% of respondents in our own industry report that surveyed nearly 400 property management companies worldwide reported that less than 10% of September – November 2020 reservations have been canceled.

Below is the latest data we are seeing in the Guesty platform across all major booking channels, including Airbnb,, Vrbo and more. 

Italy Continues to Show Signs of Recovery with Como Leading the Way

When comparing the last two weeks to the two weeks before them, we see a 41% increase in new reservations in Italy. In fact, last month (May) was the first month in which we saw an increase rather than a decrease in reservations compared to the previous month. 

New reservations in the country increased 140% in May 2020 compared to April 2020 and the average length of stay per booking is still higher than the pre-COVID-19 average of four days, holding strong at nine days on average per booking.

We have a long way to go before we return to pre-virus reservation volume, but that said, we are seeing recovery throughout the country. The four cities recovering fastest are:

  • Milan has the highest number of new reservations compared to all cities in Italy, and its bookings grew by 56% in May 2020 compared to April 2020.
  • Como has the second-highest number of new reservations, coming in after Milan, and it grew 240% in bookings in May 2020 compared to April 2020. This may be because Lake Como presents a great option for those looking to escape condensed cities.
  • Genova has the third-highest number of new reservations compared to all cities in Italy, and bookings there grew by 157%  in May 2020 compared to April 2020.
  • Trieste has the fourth-highest number of new reservations, growing 158% in bookings in May 2020 compared to April 2020.

Fall in the US Looks Strong, But Summer Still Uncertain  

In the US, this year’s 4th of July weekend average nightly rate (ANR) decreased by 19% compared to 2019. We also saw a drop of 7% in reservations per account. What this means: today we see fewer reservations and a lower cost per night for the 4th of July holiday than last year. That said, these numbers have improved over the last two weeks, which is promising. While optimism is growing thanks to loosening restrictions in some cities and states, we see that many are still wary of travel (even domestically) this summer.

Despite the slow start for 4th of July bookings, reservation volume for Labor Day in the US indicates a strong fall season. According to our data across all major booking channels, this appears to be the first meaningful date for domestic travel, where currently, 2020 reservations are equal to 2019. 

Over the next couple of weeks, we expect bookings to continue increasing, and we predict that reservations for Labor Day will greatly outdo last year’s, as those dreaming of travel take advantage of reduced daily rates, flexible cancellation policies and work-from-home schedules to enjoy a domestic staycation at a short-term rental.

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