Among many things, 2020 was the year of travel rain checks. That flight you’d booked to Costa Rica? Cancelled. The cross-country road trip you’d planned with friends? Postponed, indefinitely.
As we weathered lockdowns and social isolation to curb the spread COVID-19, vacation plans were some of the first to be adjusted or put on hold.
Now, a year and a half later, the majority of local restrictions have been lifted, and a new travel preference has emerged: one that veers toward drive-to, more remote vacation destinations.
But data also show an increasing number of consumers aren’t simply rebooking the trips they had booked last year. They’re opting for bigger rooms, longer stays, and unique locations.
In other words, they’re making up for lost time.
With more than 30,000 vacation rental properties across North America, Costa Rica and Belize, Vacasa has seen this firsthand. When guests decide to book a short-term rental, they expect to see options that cater to their specific location, amenity, and budget preferences.
Delivering that level of personalization for 3 million plus guests every year is a considerable challenge—one that we continue to learn from. But if brands are not taking full advantage of customer data and digital touch points, they could be missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves in this pivotal time for the travel industry.
Below, I’ll share lessons learned from developing Vacasa’s digital strategy and positioning ourselves for success in the current environment and a post-pandemic future.