Turn Events into Bookings

Boost your bookings and support the local economy by leveraging local events. Stay updated on upcoming events, adjust your pricing, and highlight these events in your listings to attract more guests.

June 26, 2024

Boost Your Bookings with Local Events

A Guide for Vacation Rental Owners

Summer festival season

Summertime in North America means local festivals and events, which are great opportunities to attract potential guests. But there are other times to make extra income than summertime events. Local events can also help fill vacancies during 'shoulder and low seasons,' just before and after the peak season when there is a lull in tourist activity. If you've been in the vacation rental game for a while, you've noticed how local events can be a game-changer for your bookings. These happenings can turn a quiet season into a busy one, from festivals to sports events. But how exactly do local events benefit vacation rental marketing? And what can you do to maximize these opportunities? The Impact of Local Events on Vacation Rental Demand

Increased Demand and Higher Prices

Local events like festivals, sports, and cultural celebrations attract visitors from outside the area. This leads to a higher demand for accommodations, such as vacation rentals, hotels, and other short-term rentals. This surge in bookings can significantly boost your revenue. For instance, events like the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and major sports events in Toronto saw a 16% increase in nightly rates compared to the previous year. In Florida, vacation rentals saw a significant boost during local events, with demand in coastal markets increasing by 25% compared to 2019 due to local attractions and events.

Smart Planning for Hosts

Guest Engagement

Proactive Pricing Strategy

- One key to maximizing revenue during high-demand periods is being proactive in your vacation rental marketing strategy. In this digital age, tools that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) are not just handy—they're essential. AI-powered pricing tools can analyze market trends and competitor pricing. These help you set the optimal price for your property and ensure you're always competitively priced without leaving money on the table. Some popular AI tools for pricing include Beyond Pricing, which automatically adjusts your rates based on local demand and competition.

- PriceLabs: Provides dynamic pricing solutions tailored for vacation rentals.

- Wheelhouse: Offers data-driven pricing strategies to maximize revenue.

Managing Availability

Flexibility in booking policies is crucial. Adjusting your minimum night stay requirements can attract more guests during event periods. This approach ensures higher occupancy rates and revenue even for shorter stays. Vacation Rental Marketing Strategies

Highlighting Proximity to Events

Tweaking your vacation rental marketing strategies can increase visibility and attract more guests. Highlighting proximity to event venues and using event-related keywords in listings can also boost bookings. You can also book bookings by mentioning local attractions and events in your listing descriptions. Leveraging AI-driven marketing tools can automate and optimize these efforts, ensuring your property stands out when potential guests search for a place to stay. Tools like Smart Pineapple, Lodgify, and MyVR offer comprehensive marketing solutions for vacation rental owners.

Economic Impact and Community Benefits

Local Event Marketing - Food Festival

Boost to Local Economy

Local events increase demand for accommodations and significantly contribute to the local economy. Guests in vacation rentals enjoy their stay and contribute to the area's economic growth. For example, visitors staying in vacation rentals in San Diego spent $86.4 million on local activities, with a total economic impact estimated at $285 million. This shows the financial benefits of local events and vacation rentals.

Support for Local Tourism

Vacation rentals are crucial in supporting local tourism, especially in areas with limited hotel accommodations. During the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, the area relies heavily on holiday homes to accommodate visitors. Actionable Steps for Vacation Rental Owners

Monitor Local Event Calendars

Local Event Marketing

Keep an eye on local event calendars

Plan your pricing and availability accordingly. This helps you prepare for surges in demand and adjust your marketing strategies. In your listing, feature local festivals, music events, and cultural activities. If there's a popular annual event in your area, mention it a few months in advance to attract guests planning to attend.

Implement Targeted Vacation Rental Marketing

Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that includes social media promotion, email campaigns, and content marketing focused on local events and attractions.

Use AI Tools for Dynamic Pricing

Invest in AI-powered dynamic pricing tools that can help you optimize your rates based on real-time market data. This ensures you're always competitively priced without leaving money on the table.

Enhance Your Listings

Update your property descriptions to highlight proximity to upcoming events. Use event-specific keywords to improve your search ranking on booking platforms. Refresh your listing a few months before major local events.

Engage with Guests

Use AI chatbots to manage guest inquiries and provide information about local events, transportation, and nearby attractions. This enhances the guest experience and can lead to positive reviews.

Collaborate with Local Businesses

Partner with local businesses to offer exclusive deals or packages for your guests. This will add value to their stay and strengthen your relationship with the local community.

Seasonality Strategies

Christmas Market Germany

Leveraging Shoulder Season

During shoulder season, vacation rental owners can attract a different type of guest who is more flexible with their travel dates and looking for a more authentic experience with fewer crowds. Adjust your marketing strategies to appeal to these guests by offering competitive pricing, flexible cancellation policies, and promoting local activities and attractions that are still enjoyable during this period. Consider partnering with local businesses to create attractive packages. Use this time to perform any necessary maintenance or upgrades on your property.

Leveraging Low Season

For the low season, consider offering special deals and discounts to attract travelers looking for a bargain. Market your property to demographics that prefer off-season travel, such as seniors, couples, and small groups. Highlight features that are particularly appealing during the low season, like a cozy fireplace, a hot tub, or proximity to indoor activities and attractions. Updating your listings to reflect these features can attract more bookings. Additionally, activate instant bookings to capture last-minute travelers who find irresistible flight deals. Measuring the Success of Event-Based Strategies

- Tracking the success of your event-based strategies is essential to understand their impact and make informed decisions. Here are some key metrics to monitor: Occupancy Rates: Track the percentage of your property that is booked during event periods compared to non-event periods.

- Revenue Increases: Measure the increase in revenue during events.

- Guest Feedback: Collect and analyze guest reviews to identify areas of improvement.

- Booking Trends: Monitor booking patterns to adjust your strategies for future events.

It is recommended that owners review these metrics at least quarterly to stay updated on performance trends and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Case Study:

Danica Connell, Waterscape Rentals by Owner

Danica Connell, owner of Waterscape Rentals by Owner in Destin, Florida, is an excellent example of leveraging local events to boost a vacation rental business. Danica left VRBO due to high fees and restrictions and switched to a direct booking platform, Emerald Coast By Owner (ECBYO). This move allowed her to regain control over her business, increase occupancy rates, and improve guest satisfaction. By focusing on direct bookings, she reduced costs and enhanced her guests' experiences, showing the benefits of strategic planning and effective marketing.

Wrap Up

Incorporating these vacation rental marketing strategies and leveraging local events can significantly boost your bookings and revenue throughout the year. Maximize the benefits during these high-demand periods by strategically planning your pricing, managing availability, and effectively marketing your properties. Additionally, engaging with guests and collaborating with local businesses can enhance the guest experience and foster positive reviews. By following these actionable steps and continuously monitoring your performance, you can ensure a steady flow of bookings and a thriving vacation rental business.

For related blog post check out:

Keep Tourism Dollars Local


AirDNA. "Coachella and Stagecoach Impact on Short-Term Rentals." AirDNA.

AirDNA. "Taylor Swift Transforms Local Economies STR Market." AirDNA.

AirDNA. "Up-and-Coming Vacation Rental Markets." AirDNA.

Beyond Pricing. "How Local Events Factor Into Your Vacation Rental Pricing Strategy." Beyond Pricing.

BNB Calc. "Leveraging Local Events to Boost Your Short-Term Rental Bookings." BNB Calc. "Lots of People Bought Second Homes on the Cape During the Pandemic. That Means More Short-Term Rentals This Summer."

Exploring the Social Impact of the Short-Stay Market (SSM) in Regional Areas: An Empirical Study. Fudan J. Hum. Soc. Sci.17, 243–277 (2024). "Local Events Influence On Airbnb Bookings & Their Impact."

Granicus. "Six Ways That Short-Term Vacation Rentals Are Impacting Communities." Granicus.

HFTP. "Revenue Management: 9 Summer Festivals Hotels and Short-Term Rentals Should Be Monitoring in 2024." HFTP.

HousingWire. "What Lies Ahead?" HousingWire.

IGMS. "STR Trend Report." IGMS.

InnStyle. "Rapid Growth of Short-Term Rentals." InnStyle.

Jetstream. "Short-Term Rental Marketing." Jetstream.

Key Data Dashboard. "How To Plan For Major Local Events To Maximize Short Term Rental Success." Key Data Dashboard.

LinkedIn. "Why Airbnb Revolution Short Term Bet." LinkedIn.

Lighthouse. "Taylor Swift's Impact on Hospitality." Lighthouse.

Minut. "Short-Term Rental Statistics." Minut.

PredictHQ. "Venues Affect Demand." PredictHQ.

PriceLabs. "Analyzing Coachella & Stagecoach 2024." PriceLabs.

STR. "Data Insights Blog: Major Annual Events and Hotel Performance." STR.

STR. "Event Impact Analysis Sample Report." STR.

Valbridge. "Short-Term Rentals." Valbridge.

WRTV. "Thematic Short-Term Rentals Play a Big Role in Landing Large Events in Indy." WRTV.

WRAL. "Short-Term Rental Market in Pinehurst Could Be Hindered by Ordinance." WRAL.

BizBash. "Tips for Using Short-Term Rental Platforms for Events." BizBash.

Skift. "Short-Term Rentals See Rising Demand from the Super Bowl, Olympics, and More." Skift.

Skift. "July Fourth Short-Term Rental Bookings Surge on the U.S. Coasts." Skift.