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71% of travelers in the US & Europe to book a vacation rental in the next 18 months

Europ Assistance and its subsidiary Generali Global Assistance announce the international survey findings of the first Vacation Rental Barometer. Vacation Rentals are among the top choice above all other forms of accommodation for 78% of travelers, continuing even beyond the pandemic with 86% indicating they would book one in the next 18 months.

PARIS & SAN DIEGO – Europ Assistance and Generali Global Assistance announced the international findings of its first Vacation Rental Barometer. EA & GGA surveyed 8,700 travelers across eight countries in the US & Europe from February 28th to April 1st, 2021. These survey respondents, who indicated they would be traveling in the next 18 months and planned to book a vacation rental, were surveyed on their booking preferences, travel habits, and changing adoption and utilization of vacation rentals.

Francine Abgrall, Group Head of Travel at Europ Assistance: “Throughout the pandemic, vacation rental has been one travel sector that has been less negatively impacted than others. As the overall travel industry prepares for travel to pick up, we wanted to know the sentiments of travellers about their upcoming travel plans and in particular whether the favourable trend towards vacation rental would persist. We felt it was important to gauge the sentiment of the average traveler to provide ourselves and our partners, leaders in the Vacation Rental booking industry, with valuable insights. Overall the travelers we surveyed are excited to travel again, while Europeans indicated they would prefer to travel abroad Americans opted to stay closer to home. When deciding what type of accommodation they would like on their next trip, 71 percent indicated they would book a vacation rental.”

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance: “Given the pent-up demand for travel it’s not surprising that approximately 80 percent of respondents indicated that they planned to travel in the next 18 months. Based on the findings of our Vacation Rental Barometer and current industry trends, we anticipate that travelers will flock to vacation rentals as they look to have a relaxing socially distanced getaway.”

Upcoming Travel Plans

  • 71% of travelers indicated they would book a vacation rental in the next 18 months
  • 47% of Europeans are planning a summer trip (from July – September) compared to 35% of Americans with summer being the most popular travel season among all respondents (45%).
  • 23% of Americans indicated they planned to travel this spring (from April – June) compared to 13% of Europeans.
  • 21% of American travelers indicated they planned to travel this fall, while Europeans were more likely to wait until 2022 & beyond to plan their trip when compared to Americans (20% vs 17%).  

Destination Preferences

  • 49% of all travelers surveyed indicated they planned to take their next trip domestically with Americans (71%) the most likely to travel close to home.
  • 55% of European travelers on the other hand indicated that they plan to travel abroad.
  • Travelers in Spain (57%), Italy (54%) and Portugal (51%) opted to take their next trip domestically while more travelers in – Belgium (29%), Germany (39%), the UK (40%) and France (45%) had plans to travel abroad.

Accommodation Preferences

  • 78% of travelers are more likely to book a vacation rental above all other types of accommodations in the next 18 months and – 86% said they would be more likely to continue booking them after the pandemic.
  • While it’s not surprising that 77% of travelers indicated they would choose a Vacation Rental for leisure instead business (9%), there was a significant minority (13%) of Digital Nomads who indicated they would be extended stays while working remotely.
  • Top Three Motivations for choosing a Vacation Rental: 1) Comfort, 2) Tranquility, 3) Privacy

New Travel Habits
– Top Three Criteria when picking a destination as a result of COVID: 1) Destination has clear cleaning protocols, 2) How crowded the location gets, 3) Who they travel with
– Vaccine availability was most likely to impact travel plans for both Europeans (83%) and Americans (82%).
– 66% of Europeans and 64% of Americans indicated that making COVID vaccinations mandatory to board a flight wouldn’t impact them as they already planned to take the vaccine.
– 21% of European travelers who were undecided about taking the vaccine indicated they would consider it if it was mandatory to take a flight.

Travel Insurance Preferences
– 70% of Europeans and 64% of Americans indicated they would be more likely to purchase travel insurance as a result of the pandemic.
– 44% of Europeans compared to 33% had purchased travel insurance when booking a vacation rental in the past.
– The top three coverages that reassured travelers looking to book vacation rentals are: 1) cancellation in the event of COVID – Infection or confinement (43%), 2) Medical Assistance & Repatriation (22%), 3) Reimbursement of unused travel days in case their stay is interrupted (20%)
– 23% of Americans favored coverage for reimbursement for unused days compared to 20% of Europeans
– While Europeans (23%) found more peace of mind from Medical Assistance & Repatriation coverage compared to Americans (17%).

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.