The 5 New Traveler Types Emerging From the COVID-19 Crisis
There’s no doubt that travel restrictions and border shutdowns mean international trips are all but grinding to a halt — and naturally, that has created very real challenges for property management companies in the short-term rental industry. However as this unprecedented modern pandemic develops, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s also giving way to new types of travelers.
If pre-COVID-19 travelers were seeking adventures as far from home as possible, then coronavirus-era travelers are typically staying much closer to home and seeking safety and social distance above anything else.
To navigate the coronavirus crisis, property management companies need to be able to pivot from their usual target audiences to appeal to these new types of travelers. We’ve rounded up the five most common travelers that you should have on your radar during this challenging time:
1. Stranded tourists
After checking travel restrictions, these tourists may have decided to delay their trip home until it’s safer to travel, or their flights may have been canceled altogether. They will likely need a place to stay for an indefinite period of time with flexibility on check-out date.
As people everywhere practice social distancing, those in bustling cities are looking for a rural escape, such as a cabin or cottage a short drive out of town. Whether these “cityscapers” (city escapers) are being extra careful because they’re in a high-risk group (i.e. elderly or immunocompromised) or they’re just seeking peace and quiet, they’re likely to book for a 14+-day stay.
According to Guesty data, some of the most popular destinations for “cityscapers” in the US include Upstate New York (the Hamptons, Hudson Valley and the Catskills), Napa Valley, Sonoma and Lake Tahoe, as well as mountain retreats, such as Boulder, Colorado. These types of destinations indicate that in addition to a change of scenery, “cityscapers” with families are also looking to leave behind their shoebox-sized apartments and their kids space to run around as they “shelter in place.”
With canceled international travel plans and the latest advice to travelers keeping them close to home, domestic tourists are booking more staycations. In fact, Guesty data found that the share of domestic travel in the US increased by 6% over the last three weeks compared to the three weeks prior. These staycationers may opt for a spot just out of town or book a luxurious location within the city as a nice way to mark a special occasion like a birthday or honeymoon when an overseas trip is still off the table.
The advice for travelers to stay home applies to employees too, as companies around the world ask people to work from home. However, not everyone has an ideal office set up, so individual employees and companies alike are seeking out work-from-home units that will allow for both productivity and self-isolation.
Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will need to be in quarantine, whether self-imposed or due to potential exposure to coronavirus. These people will need places where they can stay comfortably for 14 days before rejoining their families. With the average length of stay increasing as of late from 4.5 nights to eight nights, it’s clear that more and more guests are seeking out lengthier stays, many of them likely opting for these 14-day stays.
A Guide for Getting Through Coronavirus as a PMC
For more details on these COVID-era travelers as well as strategies for property management companies to better market to and attract them, take a look at our latest guide: Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis as a Property Management Company.