Multi-use accommodation sharing providers have the potential to capture many new travellers as the sector enters recovery post-Covid-19. Accommodation sharing options should focus on capturing the interest of the new to the sharing accommodation traveller to potentially expedite post-Covid-19 recovery.

Covid-19 concerns will increase self-contained holidays

As the risk of contracting Covid-19 is still a concern to many, travellers could look to travel in ways that will reduce the risk. The less contact with others the better and hotels and resorts where many facilities are shared may not be an option for Covid-19–conscious travellers. Accommodation sharing providers could win travellers by offering a perceivably safer accommodation option. Private accommodation avoids public spaces and will not require mask-wearing throughout, something which may improve the experience of the holiday for some and offers a more comfortable experience.

Accommodation sharing options such as Airbnb and HomeAway give the option of self-contained accommodation which will fit some post-Covid-19 traveller’s needs. The ability to book multi-occupation private villas or apartments will be valued, especially as there is an expectation that multi-generational holidays could increase during the recovery period Families and friends that have lived apart during the pandemic will be desperate to see each other again and a family holiday may be the perfect opportunity to do so. This, combined with the lower Covid-19 risks, will make accommodation sharing options popular for reconnecting families.

In order to maximise these multi-generational holidays, properties must offer a wealth of amenities such as accessible properties to cater for all generations. The availability of nearby parking available will be hugely valuable to larger families and the ability to arrange airport transfers through the host will be beneficial to offer a convenient service more akin to a hotel. Alongside this, Covid-19 hygiene and safety protocols must be implemented before, during and after the stay to ensure complete Covid-19 safety and encouragement that ‘self-contained’ holidays are enjoyed to their full potential.

Digital nomads will look for an adaptable work and living space

Another type of traveller that sharing accommodation providers can target is remote workers. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in the number of remote workers and as they are not tied to a location, some remote workers could look to change location multiple times a year. Digital nomads will look for short-term lets that have flexible booking options and are also adaptable for remote workers. A dedicated workspace, reliable internet and minimal outside noise distraction will be a dealbreaker for many of these lets. Accommodation in unique or naturally stunning locations outside of urban is likely to be in demand as digital nomads are looking to escape city life.

Digital nomads are also beneficial for the accommodation host. These longer-term lets provide a secure source of income whilst they are occupied as stays will usually last longer than just a few nights like the typical leisure traveller will look for. The host will also be able to save costs in cleaning and turnover of the properties. Furthermore, these travellers will be more likely to have greater respect for the property that reduces the risk of the host’s property being turned into a party house. However, digital nomads will look for competitive rates for these longer stays, making income per night for the host lower than a short term let. Whilst it would be more work for the host, the income gained from multiple day-to-day lets will be higher.

However, trying to attract all different types of travellers will be difficult, as they all require specialised amenities according to their purpose for travel. This calls for different platforms of accommodation sharing sites to be used for different types of stays.