Debunking the Myth: The Resilience of Vacation Rentals

If you think vacation rentals are headed for a downturn, think again. Despite the buzz on social media from frustrated consumers sharing their bad experiences, the reality is more optimistic. According to Skift Research’s latest report, “Debunking the Myth of Vacation Rental Consumer Fatigue,” the vacation rental market is far from slowing down.

The Reality of Vacation Rental Issues

While the idea that vacation rentals are doomed is a myth, the issues raised by guests are very real. Complaints about misleading listings, hidden fees, poor hygiene, and unsafe conditions are common. However, travelers surveyed in 2023 are not abandoning vacation rentals. Instead, they are calling for hosts to improve their services.

What Do Guests Really Want?

The biggest pain point for guests is pricing, which is also the top factor contributing to a positive experience. Guests value transparency, desiring no hidden fees, a smooth booking process, clean properties, and standardized services. Essentially, they want to get exactly what they pay for without any unpleasant surprises.

Meet the Modern Vacation Rental Guest

So, who is driving the demand for vacation rentals? Millennials, aged 28-44 in 2024, dominate this market. Most of these travelers are married or in domestic partnerships, making family travel a significant trend. Additionally, the rise of remote work has influenced travel styles, with nearly 60% of guests enjoying the flexibility to work from anywhere, which fuels their desire for adventure.

A Bright and Competitive Future

The vacation rental market is booming, especially among families and urban travelers. The report highlights the preferences of these key demographics, showing that growing demand is intensifying competition among booking platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, and As a result, loyalty programs and targeted offerings are becoming more common, leading to more choices and better deals for travelers.

In conclusion, the vacation rental industry is thriving. Consumer sentiment remains positive, and as long as hosts prioritize transparency and adapt to evolving guest expectations, vacation rentals will continue to be a popular accommodation choice.

Barb is the president of NASTRA and has spent her professional career in hospitality and real estate. After acquiring her first short-term rental in 2018, Barb moved her focus to legal advocacy after she sued the city of Nashville over a permit issue. Over the last three years, she has mentored more than 2,800 new STR hosts and is the Community Leader for Airbnb in Nashville, as well as an Airbnb “Ask a Superhost” Ambassador. Barb has appeared on numerous radio broadcasts, television shows, and podcasts to talk about her love of hosting. She also manages and co-hosts a number of short term rentals across Tennessee and Arkansas. Barb and her husband Pat own a hotel brokerage, development and consulting company. Look for her upcoming podcast series, “Women of Airbnb.”

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