With a bank of accrued holiday days and restrictions finally starting to ease in parts of the world, it’s no wonder travellers are looking to escape their lockdown surroundings for an extended period of time. We’re seeing a higher proportion of bookings for seven days or more than we did at this same point in 2019 – signalling that the long-stay trend is here to stay.
This aligns to our earlier research, which found that nearly half of global travellers (45%) surveyed had saved a lot of vacation days during 2020, so they are excited about the potential of taking longer vacations in 2021.
The rise of longer stays
“Travellers are looking for an escape from their normal lives, and they are more likely to stay in one place for longer periods of time to avoid the spread of the virus,” says Rachit Kulshrestha, Senior Product Manager at Booking.com. “Some of them are taking advantage of remote working. Others are looking forward to extended time away with family after being apart for so long.”
While proving popular among travellers this year, longer stays have been on the rise since the start of last year. “We started noticing the emerging trend for longer stays at the start of the pandemic,” says Kulshrestha. “Not just on our platform, but across the industry we noticed the long stay demand was more resilient to the crisis.”
Pricing is a fundamental aspect for long-stay bookers, with our research indicating that guests expect to get better prices for staying longer at one property. “It was difficult for our partners to attract these bookers with the existing pricing tools they had access to,” says Kulshrestha. “There was no product catering to hotel and home partners alike that both segments could use to tap into the demand for long stays, so we decided to invest in one to help our partners make the most of this opportunity.”
Taking advantage of weekly and monthly rates
To help you take advantage of the growing demand for longer stays and unlock a new guest segment, last fall we launched two new pricing products: weekly and monthly rates. Weekly rates are applicable to stays of seven nights or longer, and monthly rates are applicable to stays of 28 nights or longer. “With these two products, our partners can build a proactive pricing strategy to attract long stay guests with two very different travel needs,” says Kulshrestha.
“When we launched the rates, we saw immediate adoption from partners, who had been requesting this feature for a long time,” he continues. “What’s more, we see that partners who have adopted long-stay rates see higher visibility on our platform and are getting more bookings.” Alongside increased visibility, long stays can help you fill your occupancy and secure a stable source of revenue during this key summer season.
Looking towards the future, you can expect optimisations to the existing product, as well as further features as we continue to build on current solutions. “While we are still new to this segment and have a lot of ground to cover, we have an amazing team working hard behind the scenes,” says Kulshrestha. “We have a lot of things lined up for this year, including working with our partners to improve on the existing weekly and monthly rates, while continuing to guide them in offering the right services and amenities to host long-term guests.
“Our biggest priority for long stays in 2021, however, is to offer stays for longer periods of time – three months, six months – across the globe. The trend for longer stays is here for the long term, and we will continue to invest in it to ensure the best experience for both partners and customers.”
- We’re seeing a higher proportion of bookings for seven days or more than we did at this same point in 2019
- Pricing is a fundamental aspect for long-stay bookers, so we launched weekly and monthly rates to help you tap into the demand for stays of seven days or more
- Weekly rates are applicable to stays of seven nights or longer, and monthly rates are applicable to stays of 28 nights or longer
- We see that partners who have adopted long-stay rates see higher visibility on our platform and are securing more bookings