The Myth of Vacation-Rental Fatigue: What Guests Really Want – Skift Research


Skift Take

Don’t panic over vacation rental rants online! Our research reveals these are growing pains, but not a sign of doom. Travelers still like vacation rentals for the space, affordability, and convenience they offer. This unique blend ensures continued popularity among travelers.

Think vacation rentals are in for a big slowdown? Think again. Social media buzz of frustrated consumers sharing bad vacation-rental experiences paints a bleak picture. But Skift Research’s latest report, ‘Debunking the Myth of Vacation Rental Consumer Fatigue,’ reveals a more optimistic outlook.

Here is the catch: While vacation-rental doom is a myth, the issues are real. Some guests complain about misleading listings, junk fees, poor hygiene and unsafe conditions. Travelers surveyed in 2023 said they are not giving up on vacation rentals, but clearly hosts need to step up.

Here’s what guests truly want.

Pricing is the biggest pain point and the top factor contributing to a ‘Wow’ experience. It is followed by the destination, accommodation, and amenities offered. Guests want transparency: No hidden fees, a smooth booking process, clean properties, and standardized services. Essentially, they want what they pay for.

Wow Stay Experience

Meet the Modern Vacation Rental Guest

So, who is booking vacation rental stays? Millennials (aged 28-44 in 2024) dominate the vacation-rental market, with most married or in domestic partnerships, making family travel a popular choice. The rise of remote work adds another layer – nearly 60% of these guests enjoy this flexibility, potentially influencing their travel style and desire for adventure.

Consumer ProfileConsumer Profile

The Future is Bright (and Competitive)

The vacation-rental market is booming, especially for families and urban travelers. The report unveils the preferences of these promising use cases. The growing demand is fueling the competition among online booking giants like Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com. Loyalty programs and targeted offerings are becoming commonplace, potentially translating into more choices and better deals for travelers.

The vacation-rental industry is alive and well. Consumer sentiment remains positive and as long as hosts prioritize transparency and cater to evolving expectations, vacation rentals will remain a popular accommodation choice.

Read our report, ‘Debunking the Myth of Vacation Rental Consumer Fatigue‘ to get further insights into this market and our view on what consumer sentiment says about the future of vacation rentals.

What Will You Learn From This Report?

  1. Vacation rental consumer fatigue: Myth or Reality
  2. What makes a memorable vacation rental experience?
  3. Consumer issues and concerns with vacation rentals.
  4. Consumer segments with future growth potential.
  5. How vacation rental distribution is evolving.
  6. What consumers think of professionalization and standardization in the vacation rental sector.

This is the latest in a series of reports and data products that Skift Research puts out to help you analyze the biggest trends in the travel industry. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. More than 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

By subscribing to Skift Research, you will gain access to our entire vault of reports conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep dives on key travel brands. You will also be able to access our proprietary Skift Travel Health Index, ST 200, Hotel Tech Benchmark, and data from our regular traveler surveys.



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