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AirDNA: Strong Summer demand boosts occupancy in Europe

Occupancy hit a record high for the month of July, at 66.6%, as supply remained 4% below 2019 levels, despite seeing some growth from last year.

Heatwaves and inflation haven’t been able to put off travellers around Europe this summer as guests return to short-term rentals in their droves. In July, Europe reached 48.9 million nights stayed, 7.9% higher than July 2019. 

According to AirDNA, occupancy hit a record high for the month of July, at 66.6%, as supply remained 4% below 2019 levels, despite seeing some growth from last year. 

The strength of demand and inflated occupancy rates allowed hosts to charge 2.7% more on average than last July, though the growth rate is slowing compared to previous months, particularly as guests return to smaller properties in cities which typically charge less. 

The top 50 markets in Europe made up 12.9% of total supply in July, though the number of available listings remains 29.5% below 2019 levels. This inflated occupancy rates 17.2% from last year, with the highest growth in Lisbon, Budapest, and Porto where international travellers are making a comeback. 

Outlook Bright as International Guests Return
International travel is on the rebound after two years of border restrictions, and guests from abroad are driving higher occupancy in popular tourist destinations across Europe. Larger cities felt the impact most strongly: in Dublin, Q2 2022 saw over 800% more bookings from international travellers than the year before, while domestic bookings declined by over 60%. The same effect was observed in Florence (international +540%, domestic -8%) and Rome (international +488%, domestic -30%).

Nights booked in Europe for the rest of the year are pacing +35.9% higher than at the same time last year, and 2.2% higher than 2019. 

Meanwhile, for August, Germany is on track to top the charts in terms of booking change from 2019, with 24.8% more nights booked, followed by Belgium (+19.3%), Greece (+18.7%), and Austria (+17%). 

In Q2 2022, Hungary, Greece, and Croatia respectively saw 342.1%, 116.5%, and 80.4% more Airbnb reservations made by international travellers year over year, while reservations made by domestic travellers in the same comparison period had declined in each of these countries.

European Outlook
The big question now is, will demand remain strong after the summer? Or will inflation pressures finally catch up with STR demand?

As of 7th August, European nights booked were pacing 35.9% over 2021 and 2.2% over 2019 on average to close out 2022. While August was just -0.3% behind August 2019, September was pacing toward strong demand growth over 2019, with 10.1% more nights booked in the comparison period, as guests use new flexibility to travel outside of high season and avoid the crowds.

Of the top-20 countries, Germany was pacing toward the most nights booked in August with 24.8% more nights booked vs. 2019, followed by Belgium (19.3%), Greece (18.7%), and Austria (17%). On the other hand, a trend of lower demand continues in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ireland, which were pacing -33.4%, -29.4%, and -24.9% below 2019, respectively.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.