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4 trends to watch in travel
People will always travel, and they will always pre-plan those trips. Here are four trends that travel brands should watch this year.
"A least one major player will invest in or offer an ancillary service," said Rob Stephens, General Manager, Avalara MyLodgeTax. "Vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway attract millions of travelers each year. A large number of travelers visiting these sites can create opportunities for other travel services, such as hotels, cars, transportation, meals, and more. Rental platforms may create better conversions, and increase traveler loyalty by providing an all-encompassing experience that includes tours, excursions, chefs or prepared meals, grocery delivery, surf lessons, boat and ski rentals, etc. Airbnb recently announced certain offerings along these lines. As large vacation rental platforms continue to grow and mature, we bet they'll expand their offerings into these areas as well."
"A new player will enter the market, taking the user experience to the next level," said Stephens. "Innovation and disruption can be wonderful (unless you're being disrupted). The beauty of a free market is when entrepreneurs see a thriving opportunity with pain points - and vacation rentals certainly meet that criteria - new models will be introduced to solve a particular problem and/or capitalize on robust a marketplace. In 2017, we think a new listing and booking site will arrive on the scene and make some noise (they're likely already out there doing business, we just haven't heard about them yet)."
"Demand for short-term rentals in urban markets will continue to grow/thrive in popularity, regardless of regulatory environment," said Stephens. "There is surging demand for urban rentals. Back in the day, vacation rentals typically referred to ski and beach resorts, but not anymore! These days, urban rentals are increasingly popular. Big cities draw travelers for weddings, graduations, corporate events, medical stays, and huge events - think music festivals, Super Bowl, golf tournaments, etc. Many are simply huge global tourist destinations. Big cities are also the front lines for major regulatory issues; we expect to see agreements reached in 2017 that address local concerns and also allow the industry to prosper."
"At least one state will pass broad legislation to closely regulate vacation rentals and mandate user data and tax reporting," said Stephens. "Vacation rentals are no longer a niche industry. Popularity among travelers has caused the industry to explode over the last 10 years, which now has the attention of regulators. There are lots of legal issues and regulatory discussions occurring across the U.S. In 2017, we think at least one state will pass sweeping legislation in an effort to regulate the industry. The requirements may include items like platforms reporting property addresses, owners/host names and revenue information for occupancy tax and income tax purposes."
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