Tripping.com Releases 2017 Vacation Rental Trends Report and Predicts Biggest Short-Term Rental Trends for 2018

Tennessee Recovers from Fires and so Will California, Florida and the Caribbean

As Southern U.S. Cities Continue to Grow, Drive-To Vacation Destinations Reap Benefits

Wave Goodbye Beaches, Fastest Growing Markets for Vacation Rentals Are Lake Destinations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Dec. 27, 2017) - Tripping.com, the world’s #1 site for finding the lowest prices on vacation rentals, today released 2017 search data indicating the most popular domestic and international destinations for the growing global vacation rental market. With more than 11 million properties in 150,000 destinations worldwide, the company’s “2017 Vacation Rental Trends Report” offers unique insight into the behavior and preferences of global travelers in 2017, along with predictions for short-term rental trends in 2018.

2017 Domestic Booking Trends

  • Tennessee recovers from 2016 wildfires: Despite the November 2016 wildfires that burned more than 16,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg were among the top 10 most popular U.S. destinations of 2017, at #7 and #9 respectively. “It’s been a terrible year for natural disasters, and we are very pleased to see the tourism industries of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg bounce back quickly. We’re hopeful that islands in the Caribbean and tourist destinations affected by dozens of California wildfires will be equally fortunate,” said Jeff Manheimer, Tripping.com co-founder and COO.
  • Beaches beyond the expected: Beaches are still the most popular vacation type for home renters, but California, Florida and South Carolina aren’t the only popular destinations. Beaches in seven additional states are represented on the top 20 list, including Alabama (#3 Gulf Shores, #9 Orange Beach), Delaware (#18 Rehoboth Beach), Georgia (#17 Tybee Island), Maryland (#5 Ocean City), North Carolina (#15 Carolina Beach), Texas (#8 Galveston, #20 South Padre Island), and Virginia (#6 Virginia Beach).
  • Southern mountain towns are more popular than the American West: Mountain destinations in Tennessee (#1 Pigeon Forge and #2 Gatlinburg), North Carolina (#3 Asheville), and Georgia (#4 Helen) are represented ahead of the most popular western destination (#5 Colorado Springs).
  • Vacation rentals are challenging hotels in major U.S. cities: Tripping.com is seeing an increase in searches for urban markets. New York City is the site’s most popular urban destination, with other top cities including San Diego (#10), Chicago (#13), Las Vegas (#15), and Los Angeles (#17).

Top 25 Most Popular U.S. Destinations in 2017

Rank

City

State

Ave Display Rate

1

New York

New York

$323

2

Destin

Florida

$267

3

Myrtle Beach

South Carolina

$167

4

Gulf Shores

Alabama

$209

5

Panama City Beach

Florida

$195

6

Ocean City

Maryland

$227

7

Pigeon Forge

Tennessee

$178

8

Virginia Beach

Virginia

$293

9

Gatlinburg

Tennessee

$186

10

San Diego

California

$338

11

Orlando

Florida

$155

12

Galveston

Texas

$241

13

Chicago

Illinois

$257

14

Orange Beach

Alabama

$221

15

Las Vegas

Nevada

$288

16

Key West

Florida

$392

17

Los Angeles

California

$385

18

Clearwater

Florida

$208

19

North Myrtle Beach

South Carolina

$196

20

Pensacola Beach

Florida

$229

21

Hilton Head Island

South Carolina

$244

22

Carolina Beach

North Carolina

$174

23

Miami

Florida

$415

24

Tybee Island

Georgia

$217

25

Rehoboth Beach

Delaware

$315

2017 International Booking Trends

  • Americans searched more for vacation rentals in Canada and Mexico following the 2016 election and 2017 inauguration: During the first quarter of 2017, vacation rental searches for Canada and Mexico increased by 27 percent and 67 percent, respectively. Internationally, Mexico is the #1 most popular vacation rental destination for Americans. Mexico City is also the #2 most popular international city overall and the #1 most popular destination in Mexico.
  • Overall Caribbean searches are down following the devastating 2017 hurricane season. Puerto Rico has dropped from the #1 most popular Caribbean destination to #4: Searches for perennial island favorite Puerto Rico fell by 63 percent in the second half of 2017. The Dominican Republic fell only 13 percent post hurricane season but is now seeing a 14 percent increase from the previous quarter, earning it the #1 spot. “Searches for Puerto Rico are still down by 52 percent but are at least moving in the right direction,” said Manheimer.
  • Cuba down 60 percent year-over-year: Cuba saw a surge in visitors after President Obama restored diplomatic and economic relations with the country in 2015. President Trump’s more conservative approach towards Cuba is likely behind the 60 percent decrease in searches.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland get a post-Brexit boost in tourism: After Brexit, searches for vacation rentals in Scotland and Northern Ireland increased by 40 percent, while those for England increased 4 percent. London, in particular, saw a 5 percent increase in searches.
  • Despite political unrest, Barcelona remains a top 10 international destination: The referendum and corresponding protests regarding the independence of Catalonia did not seem to influence the popularity of Barcelona as a tourist destination. The city ranked #8 overall and #4 most popular destination in Europe.
  • Travelers choose Berlin and Hamburg over Munich: Despite the popularity of Oktoberfest, Berlin ranks as the #5 most popular city in Europe and one of the continent’s best bargains, with an average listing rate of $120 per night.
  • Destinations in India and the Philippines dominate Asia’s top 10: Six of the top 10 most popular vacation rentals in Asia are in India (#1 Mumbai, #3 New Delhi, #9 Bengaluru) and the Philippines (#4 Tagaytay, #5 Manilla, #10 Cebu City).
  • Dubai is most popular destination in the Middle East with 3X more searches than #2 Hurghada, Egypt. Despite a poor exchange rate for American travelers and an average nightly rate that is $100+ more expensive than other destinations, Dubai is the #1 most popular destination in the Middle East.

Most Popular International Destinations in 2017

Rank

City

State

Ave. Display Rate

1

Mexico City

Mexico

$107

2

London

United Kingdom

$234

3

Paris

France

$267

4

Muskoka

Canada

$296

5

Toronto

Canada

$154

6

Amsterdam

Netherlands

$207

7

Barcelona

Spain

$201

8

Mumbai

India

$93

9

Vancouver

Canada

$180

10

Cancún

Mexico

$232

11

Cape Town

South Africa

$351

12

Dubai

United Arab Emirates

$315

13

Berlin

Germany

$120

14

Singapore

Singapore

$137

15

Puerto Vallarta

Mexico

$280

16

Rome

Italy

$158

17

Lambton Shores

Canada

$195

18

Wien

Austria

$163

19

Ottawa

Canada

$115

20

Wasaga Beach

Canada

$209

21

Rosarito

Mexico

$172

22

Dublin

Ireland

$199

23

Tobermory

Canada

$178

24

Madrid

Spain

$147

25

Montreal

Canada

$156

2018 Vacation Rental Industry Predictions

  • Vacation rental listings side-by-side with hotel pricing become commonplace: Travelers today want the best price, location, and amenities, and are more inclined to include a vacation rental in their accommodation search. As a result, vacation rental sites like Tripping.com have added hotel pricing in search results while the major online travel agencies are adding short-term rentals alongside their hotel offerings. The short-term rental market will continue to grow and gain market share from traditional hotel companies.
  • Booking window for short-term rentals continue to shrink as instant booking inventory and mobile booking continue to improve. More than 60 percent of Tripping.com’s new inventory in 2017 qualified for instant booking.

2018 Domestic Predictions

  • California Wine Country bounces back: Based on the impressive recovery of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tripping predicts that California wine country, impacted by wildfires in October 2017, will quickly bounce back and remain a popular destination for American wine lovers. In the meantime, look for California’s emerging wine destinations to see an increase in business, including Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County and Temecula Valley in Riverside County. Wine lovers will also consider wineries in Washington, Oregon, and even Texas Hill Country.
  • Lake beaches on the rise for summer vacations: Lake searches for the busy spring and summer months grew 100 percent compared to beach destinations, which grew by only 49 percent. Travelers are increasingly choosing lakes for their summer vacation thanks to cheaper rental prices and close proximity for a greater number of Americans. Among the most popular lake beaches on Tripping.com are Broken Bow, Okla.; Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Lake Michigan, Michigan; Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; and Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Southern beach and mountain destinations will continue to gain popularity: As the population of Southern cities like Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte and Nashville continue to grow, drive-to beach and mountain destinations will continue to thrive. Look for the law of supply and demand to drive up rental pricing.
  • Alternative snowbird destinations gain popularity: Year after year, millions of snowbirds head south for the winter. In the past, the majority of snowbird searches on Tripping.com were for destinations in Florida. The hurricane season of 2017 is responsible for yet another shift in consumer travel behavior, with Tripping.com seeing a dramatic increase in searches for alternative snowbird destinations in 2018, including Arizona, Southern California, and South Carolina, among others.

2018 International Predictions

  • London will retain most popular international destination spot for American travelers thanks to an upcoming wedding and strong exchange rate: America is abuzz with the engagement of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle. Royal weddings tend to boost tourism to London and expect this May wedding to drive extra interest from American travelers who are excited for the first American princess in decades. As the pound weakens against the dollar, post-Brexit London provides great value for American travelers, especially during the winter with off-season pricing.
  • Surplus of home rental availability in Pyeongchang, South Korea during the Winter Olympics in February: Thanks to bird flu and missile testing in North Korea, ticket sales for the 2018 Winter Olympics are slow. There are currently 308 rentals available in Pyeongchang with an average list price of only $120 per night. Tripping.com expects even more properties to come online in early 2018 as homeowners look to cash in on the Olympics. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Tripping.com found that 68 percent of the 9,469 vacation rentals in Rio were left empty during the summer games.
  • Increase in short-term bookings in Russia thanks to World Cup: Despite controversial U.S.-Russia relations, Tripping.com predicts soccer fans around the world will travel to Russia for the World Cup (June 14 - July 15, 2018). Tripping.com is already seeing an increase in new short term rental inventory throughout the country and expects the growth to rapidly increase as June approaches.

2017 U.S. Snapshot Continued

Most Popular U.S. States in 2017

Rank

State

1

Florida

2

California

3

North Carolina

4

South Carolina

5

Texas

6

New York

7

Tennessee

8

Alabama

9

Georgia

10

New Jersey

11

Colorado

12

Arizona

13

Virginia

14

Michigan

15

Maryland

16

Oregon

17

Nevada

18

Massachusetts

20

Delaware

Most Popular U.S. Beaches in 2017

Rank

Beach

State

Ave. Display Rate

1

Destin

Florida

$267

2

Myrtle Beach

South Carolina

$167

3

Gulf Shores

Alabama

$209

4

Panama City Beach

Florida

$195

5

Ocean City

Maryland

$227

6

Virginia Beach

Virginia

$293

7

San Diego

California

$338

8

Galveston

Texas

$241

9

Orange Beach

Alabama

$221

10

Key West

Florida

$392

11

Clearwater

Florida

$208

12

North Myrtle Beach

South Carolina

$196

13

Pensacola Beach

Florida

$229

14

Hilton Head Island

South Carolina

$244

15

Carolina Beach

North Carolina

$174

16

Miami

Florida

$415

17

Tybee Island

Georgia

$217

18

Rehoboth Beach

Delaware

$315

19

Folly Beach

South Carolina

$278

20

South Padre Island

Texas

$207

Most Popular U.S. Mountain Towns in 2017

Mountain Town

State

Ave. Display Rate

Pigeon Forge

Tennessee

$178

Gatlinburg

Tennessee

$186

Asheville

North Carolina

$197

Helen

Georgia

$143

Colorado Springs

Colorado

$179

Ruidoso

New Mexico

$198

Maggie Valley

North Carolina

$136

Estes Park

Colorado

$230

Blue Ridge

Georgia

$175

Hot Springs

Arkansas

$171

About Tripping.com

With more than 11 million properties in 150,000 destinations worldwide, Tripping.com is the world’s #1 site for finding the lowest prices on vacation rentals. Tripping.com searches dozens of trusted travel sites for real-time rates and availability and displays the best prices across the vacation rental market. One search on Tripping.com provides results from popular sites including HomeAway, VRBO and Booking.com, as well as from international and locally owned sites, so travelers can quickly and easily search, compare and find the perfect rental at the best price. Visit tripping.com.

For more information about Tripping.com or to schedule an interview, contact Kellie Pelletier, kellie@kelliepelletier.com or call/text 917-514-5851.