Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, January 26, in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the high cost of short-term rentals in the U.S., why airlines are more grateful to boxes than humans, and what responsibility events have to share Covid testing results.
Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The U.S. short-term rental market became more expensive in 2021, and the new year won’t provide any relief for those looking to book properties, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. Short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA said in its U.S. market review for December 2021 that guests are paying a premium to reserve properties for both spring break and summer travel this year. How much? Average daily rates are up 21 percent in the first quarter for properties already booked compared to the same period last year.
The firm had also found that average daily rates for U.S. short-term rentals last month rose almost 29 percent compared to the figures for December 2020. AirDNA attributed the rising cost of such properties to, among other factors, a lack of listings in popular markets and remote workers having the flexibility to book in traditionally off-peak seasons. That listing scarcity presents challenges for platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo that are fighting to meet the growing demand for short-term rentals.
Next, we turn to a significant boost the aviation industry received in 2021. As global international passenger traffic has yet to return to pre-Covid figures, cargo led the recovery for airlines last year, writes Airlines Reporter Edward Russell. Cargo traffic rose almost 7 percent for the full year compared to 2019, according to data released on Tuesday. Willie Walsh, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, credited cargo for being an important source of revenue for the airlines.
It has also helped propel one carrier — Korean Air — toward several profitable pandemic-era quarters, a rarity in the industry. Meanwhile, passenger traffic in 2021 only reached 42 percent of pre-Covid figures. Domestic markets did outperform their international counterparts as domestic passenger traffic last year recovered to nearly 72 percent of 2019 levels while international only hit 25 percent.
We end today looking at an important issue the events industry faces. After organizers of a major show failed to report the number of the Covid cases detected through its onsite testing, the question has been raised whether events have an obligation to report such information to the general public, writes Angela Tupper, deputy editor for EventMB, a Skift brand. While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provided rapid testing kits to each of its roughly 40,000 attendees, a representative from its organizer said it couldn’t confirm the number of positive tests due to the difficulty in determining when and where people contracted Covid.
There is enormous support for transparency regarding Covid cases as 93 percent of respondents to a recent LinkedIn poll came out in favor of event organizers being forthcoming about the number of positive tests onsite. One industry executive believes that more transparency around Covid case numbers could help meeting planners understand the degree of risk involved in organizing major events. However, another events executive argued against any obligation to report such figures, stating that as many factors influence the rates of infection at events, a cross-comparison of data wouldn’t likely produce any conclusive results