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Preparing Your National Park Listings to Welcome Guests During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed summer travel plans worldwide. While international trips are currently not much of an option for US citizens, adventure-seekers are still searching for domestic destinations that allow them to explore the outdoors and enjoy a safe getaway during the pandemic — making National Parks the ideal choice. More than two-thirds of the 419 US national parks are now open to the public, creating the perfect escape from large cities that have been directly affected by the pandemic. For property management companies with short-term rentals near national parks, now is the time to promote your properties to travelers looking for a remote getaway.

Who To Cater To

There are two main groups of travelers that you should market your national park rentals to during this time: digital nomads and families. Digital nomads specifically are looking for a remote location where they can get work done while enjoying the great outdoors. To attract these personas, it is important that your property includes workplace essentials, such as a strong WiFi connection and a well-equipped desk setup. Keep in mind that with offices largely closed for the coming weeks, this work-from-wherever traveller may want to stay for a month or more — thus flexibility around length of stay will be key. 

For families looking for a local vacation spot, we recommend stocking your rentals with a variety of entertainment options, from Netflix to board games to toys in order to keep young children busy between hikes. 

To differentiate your local properties during this time, ensure that your listings not only showcase the amenities mentioned above, but also highlight your properties as safe, remote, secluded getaways away from the stress of COVID-19. This will allow your guests to feel like they have escaped to a faraway destination, when in reality they have just driven a few hours away. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans are planning on taking a road trip this summer. And 24% of those people will vacation near national parks. As such, we gathered a list of some of the most popular domestic travel locations for explorers seeking an outdoorsy getaway to a renowned National Park. 

Yosemite National Park 

Many people living on the West Coast are turning to their local great outdoors to escape the isolation of COVID-19 in large cities. Since Yosemite National Park’s attractions reopened on June 8, families will be traveling to this destination to hike its 800+ trails and visit its prominent landmarks. Don’t forget to highlight the wide-open spaces surrounding your properties in this area, where families and children can enjoy outdoor activities, while practicing social distancing. 

Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park

While Colorado is a popular travel destination during the winter months, its summer adventure opportunities are now attracting visitors from around the country. The quiet and remote atmosphere of the Rocky Mountains makes for the perfect work destination for digital nomads. By transforming your winter short-term rentals into suitable summer workplaces, you can transform this typically low season into one of your busiest periods. 

Note that many towns in the Rocky Mountains have been hit with dining restrictions, preventing tourists from enjoying tasty dine-in options. In order to compensate for the restrictions posed by the pandemic, we recommend keeping your kitchens  well-stocked and prepared so that your working guests will feel as if they never have to leave. Additionally, you may also choose to upgrade services in your property to include food deliveries and other dining amenities. 

Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake State Park is nationally recognized for its great camping opportunities and its various trails and climbing attractions. For people living in the Midwest, Devil’s Lake is a hotspot for a summertime escape and an amazing location to a “glamping” holiday. Short-term rentals here will appeal to families looking to experience the enjoyable benefits of camping, sans disturbing bugs and unpredictable weather that are all too real when staying in tents.

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls is a world-renowned tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors each year. Its variety of outdoor activities, including 15 miles of hiking trails and nighttime fireworks, makes it the perfect destination for a family-friendly weekend trip where guests can escape city life. Weekends are particularly popular in the Niagara region, so be sure to price accordingly to maximize revenue. By raising listing prices for these high-traffic dates, and extending the minimum stay duration during the weekdays, you can garner more revenue from your national park property rentals.

Adapting to Domestic Travelers

The unique travel period during COVID-19 poses an opportunity to implement new strategies for managing and promoting your short-term rental properties. Adapting to the increase in “staycationers” and domestic travelers will ensure that your business remains stable during this period of travel uncertainty. For more strategies on navigating COVID-19, take a look at our Coronavirus Infocenter.

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