Property management platform Guesty has revealed new data that shows a dramatic increase in US accommodation bookings from UK travellers. Jenny Southan reports
The US has confirmed that after 18 months it will finally reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from 33 countries – including the UK – on November 8, 2021. But people will still need to show a negative Covid test result to gain entry.
In light of this news, Guesty, which is a company that automates and streamlines every aspect of rental hosts’ growing and changing property rental businesses, has reported a shift in consumer confidence in terms of travel from the UK to the US.
While Guesty’s data has shown clear growth in domestic travel across the US and UK as the pandemic has progressed, global travel has suffered from the varying border closures to international tourism.
Vered Raviv Schwarz, president and COO of Guesty, tells Globetrender: “The United States announcement on September 20 that vaccinated UK and EU citizens could travel to the US from November has sparked renewed interest in short-term rental reservations. Compared to the prior week, US reservations by UK-based travellers increased by 150 per cent post-announcement.”
Overall, in 2021, UK outbound reservations to the US represented just 0.17 per cent of all short-term rental reservations (year-on-year). Schwarz says this was “not surprising, considering that the border remained largely shut to UK citizens, unless they had a residency visa to the US or special permission to visit”.
Prior to the pandemic, UK travellers represented 12.6 per cent of all foreign-made reservations in the US in 2019.
Guesty says: “It will be interesting to see how the border opening will affect UK tourism to the US and future short-term rental reservations, especially as traveller trends have shifted largely towards booking alternative accommodation over traditional hotels.”
In terms of travel from the US to the UK, government restrictions during the health crisis caused a huge slump in bookings in this direction too. According to data from Guesty, in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, US-made reservations made up almost 15 per cent of short-term rental reservations in the UK.
However, in 2021, US outbound travel from the US to the UK represented just 3 per cent of UK short-term rental reservations, aligning with the fact that Americans were largely banned from the UK until the border opened up in August 2021.
Schwarz tells Globetrender: “We will likely see outbound US to UK reservations continue to rise as travel picks up in the winter and later during the warmer spring and summer months.”
“That said, domestic tourism continues to increase countrywide with the rest of the year looking promising, though numbers may continue to fluctuate as we near flu season and navigate Delta and reimposed restrictions.”
Guesty data shows that the top five US states for Thanksgiving bookings in 2021 are:
Here are the top five US states for Christmas bookings in 2021: