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Vacation rental properties are the first choice for accommodation booking, twice as much compared to those that plan to book a hotel/motel/resort.

Vancouver, BC – A new survey conducted in partnership with Owner Direct customers and Insights West shows that despite current restrictions on travel, this group intends to spend more than usual on travel once restrictions open up.

With COVID-19 travel restrictions still in place across BC and Alberta, Owner Direct customers continue to have travel on their minds. Nearly one-in-five Owner Direct customers anticipate spending more than usual (19%) on vacation travel compared to a typical year (pre-COVID-19), and two-in-five are expecting to spend about the same amount (42%), regardless of when they will travel or where they will go. This correlates with a 16% increase in booking requests observed from January to February this year for the company. Just over one-quarter of customers anticipate spending less (28%) in the next year, with a further 12% being unsure of their potential travel spend.

When asked what type of accommodation they will book, Owner Direct customers are likely to opt for a vacation rental property first and foremost (35%). Just 17% will choose to rent a hotel/motel/resort, and fewer still will stay with family or friends (8%), a secondary residence (5%) or an RV/Motorhome (4%). One-quarter will opt for a combination of several accommodation options (26%).

When forced to choose their preference between a vacation rental and a hotel/motel/resort, not surprisingly, the majority of Owner Direct customers opt for a vacation rental property (85%) compared to a hotel/motel/resort (15%). On an unaided basis, reasons to choose vacation rentals tend to center on having more living space and bedrooms for groups, access to a kitchen for cooking and avoiding eating out, added privacy, as well as being an economical option.

Once restrictions lift, vacation priorities lie in visiting with friends or family in some form or another, with over half of customers choosing this type of vacation first (52%). A relaxation vacation (e.g. spa or resort) (35%), a weekend getaway (34%) or a sports/adventure vacation (27%) are also high on the priority list. A further 20% plan on long-term slow travel such as staying somewhere for 2+ weeks for work and play. Event travel is lower on the list at just 12%, while 7% are not sure where they would travel yet.

Even with being restricted to immediate household bubbles over recent months, the majority of customers still plan to travel with their partner (66%) and immediate family (38%) primarily, before opting to travel with friends (21%), extended family (10%) or by themselves (7%).

Regardless of where and how they’ll travel, over three-quarters of Owner Direct customers support current travel restrictions within their own province (53% strongly and 23% somewhat), with slightly stronger support (79%) for travel restrictions across the country (62% strongly and 16% somewhat). This support is higher among BC customers (88% support the Canada travel restrictions, 83% support provincial travel restrictions) compared to the Alberta customer base with two-thirds supporting restrictions for travel across Canada (64%) as well as within the province (64%).

In the next 12 months, three-quarters of Owner Direct customers indicate that they are likely to travel to nearby communities within their province for a day trip (36% within the next 4 weeks, 19% within the next 2-3 months, and a further 19% within the next 4-12 months), and slightly fewer, two-thirds, will consider travelling elsewhere in their province for an overnight trip in a somewhat more distant future (14% within the next 4 weeks, 20% within the next 2-3 months and 32% within the next 4-12 months). Just one-third believe that they will visit other provinces in Canada within the next year (6% within the next 3 months, and 29% within the next 4-12 months), instead opting to wait until current travel restrictions have been lifted (26%) or when a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available (17%). BC customers are more likely to want to wait until restrictions have been lifted (33%) compared to AB customers (16%), who are more likely to be travelling within other provinces in Canada in the next 4-12 months (40%).

Possibly a result of enhanced federal restrictions when returning to Canada, even more customers say that they will wait until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available before travelling to the US (31%) or other countries (34%). A similar number will wait until the current travel restrictions are removed before leaving Canada (29% for the US or other countries).

“We’re seeing a lot more interest in travel as spring rolls around,” says Andrea Lamond, Marketing Director for Owner Direct. “Guests are banking that travel restrictions will be eased for the summer and are also looking ahead at next fall and winter trips too.”


About Owner Direct

Owner Direct Vacation Rentals was started in 1994 by Dave Bowering as a means to privately rent out Big White ski condos. Soon enough, the number of listed properties grew and expanded into other nearby ski resorts in British Columbia. Now Owner Direct represents thousands of vacation rental homes in hundreds of resorts around the world. With an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating, Owner Direct is one of the top-rated vacation rental companies on the web! Click here to learn more about Owner Direct.


About Insights West:

Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 350 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 25 out of 26 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.


About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted February 4-16, 2021 among a sample of 178 Owner Direct customers from BC and AB. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 7.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Andrea Lamond
Marketing Director
Owner Direct Rentals Inc.
Kelowna, BC, Canada
250-469-9543 x220