Coronavirus pandemic could strengthen private accommodation hold on the lodgings market

Globaldata Travel and Tourism 6th October 2020 (Last Updated October 6th, 2020 09:56)

Coronavirus pandemic could strengthen private accommodation hold on the lodgings market

A need for stringent health and safety requirements will make customers more receptive to private accommodation when going on holiday, strengthening private accommodation companies’ position in the lodging market.

According to a GlobalData poll of more than 175,000 people, 49.5% of respondents are still extremely concerned about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, proving there is still enormous concern amongst the general population.

This concern has led to customers becoming anxious about the prospect of staying in hotels with large amounts of other people, despite social distancing measures being in place. According to GlobalData’s week 8 recovery consumer survey (16 – 20 September), more than half (56%) of respondents globally said how a service impacts their health and wellbeing ‘always’ or ‘often’ influences their choice of service. This suggests that many travellers will stay away from hotels if they feel unsafe, however misplaced these beliefs may be.

Hotel owners have devised a number of creative ways to ensure social distancing restrictions create minimal damage upon customer experience. However, private accommodation allows for no physical interaction with other travellers and a more isolated experience overall.

Private accommodation companies are not immune to the impact of Covid-19

Although it seems apparent that private accommodation companies could recover more quickly than hotels, companies – big and small – have still been hit extremely hard over the last year.

Industry titan, Airbnb, has made a quarter of its workforce redundant and the company expects its results to be less than half of what it was in 2019. These figures highlight the intense pressure that all lodging companies continue to be under since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, Airbnb will be hoping for a much more positive year moving into 2021.

The influence of private accommodation firms was growing pre-Covid

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic may provide companies like Airbnb with the opportunity of a faster recovery than many of its competitors. However, the popularity of private accommodation firms was growing well before the pandemic struck.

Private accommodation can offer customers a more genuine experience of other cultures, something that is becoming increasingly important for holidaymakers. There is also generally more flexibility than with traditional lodging types, such as hotels, which can be a key selling point in the current climate.

These factors lead to the conclusion that private accommodation companies could continue to experience an increase in market share over the coming months.