The short-term rental sector in South Africa is experiencing explosive growth, as evidenced by year-on-year figures from the country’s largest short-term rental management company, which doubled its total registered properties and recorded a 266% increase in gross bookings between October 2021 and May 2022.
Propr – the only host management company in Africa to have direct API integration with Airbnb – released the figures on Tuesday (July 19), sourced from the more than 500 accommodation providers registered with it.
Propr Co-Founder and MD, Chregan O’Flynn, said when comparing the period between October 2021 and May 2022 to that of the previous season, gross bookings had grown by 266% and total revenue was up by 234%.
“Our total property count has doubled over the last year, which speaks to the recovery in the space and the move from long-term back to short-term rentals. Average daily rates are higher than what they were pre-COVID.”
Over the same period, Propr found that average daily rates had increased by 31%, while occupancy improved from 63.28% to 74.43%.
“Average stay length has also gone from 5.47 days pre-COVID to 7.58 days in 2020/2021 to 6.4 days during this last season. So, we are seeing shorter stays again, which corresponds with the return of international travel. When COVID hit, the drop in international travel coincided with an increase in the length of stays as a result of more South Africans working remotely,” O’Flynn pointed out.
WTTC’s new guidelines on short-term rentals
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has just released a report entitled Best Practices for Short-Term Rentals, which highlights a variety of practical, easy-to-implement policy recommendations to regulate the booming industry. The practices include data-sharing, digital registrations, smart taxation, and long-term community investment approaches.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “As we begin to recover from the ravages of the pandemic, we must focus on building back better in each of our industries. The best practices offered in this report will provide governments with key policy recommendations that will both promote tourism in their destinations while supporting those local communities.”