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2017 Cape & Islands Vacation Rental Season Off to a Busy Start

Contact: Elizabeth Weedon
Phone: (888) 281-8660

Despite the significant political turmoil and uncertainty of late, it’s apparent on the website that vacationers are as enthusiastic as ever to get back to Cape Cod and the Islands this year. Vacation home rental bookings are up 11.3% over last year in the early booking season. This number reflects the regions of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket and includes bookings for the “shoulder seasons” of spring and fall as well as the high season summer weeks.

High season bookings: For the summer alone, weekly bookings are up 8.3% for the entire region: the Cape up 9.2%, the Vineyard up 4.5%, and Nantucket up 9.3%.

Shoulder season bookings: Every year, spring and fall rentals continue to increase in popularity with vacationers. So far this year, spring bookings for all three regions are up over 20%, and fall bookings are showing an increase of over 25% from this time last year.

Huge increases in volume: Due to recent changes in the online vacation rental industry, has witnessed a significant increase in homes listed on the website – as well as vacationers looking to rent them. Inventory of homes on the site has grown over 16% since last January, and vacationer traffic for the month of January was the highest in the site’s history. (Note: All booking statistics provided have been adjusted for inventory for greater accuracy.)

What’s causing such a significant increase in both homeowner and vacationer volume? The vacation rental industry was significantly impacted by HomeAway/VRBO’s decision last February to join the other “big box” vacation rental websites (Airbnb and FlipKey) in requiring vacationers to pay them a fee when booking online in addition to the advertising fee charged to homeowners. Naturally, vacationers are displeased and are searching for alternative options to find their vacation homes. But homeowners, too, are frustrated by this new business model that significantly restricts their ability to communicate with prospective tenants prior to booking. This also inhibits homeowners from controlling the booking/payment process, which now must be conducted through the website in order for the travelers fees to be assessed. The result is that both homeowners and vacationers have been seeking local and trustworthy alternatives that allow direct communication between the parties and do not to charge vacationers for their services.

Conclusion: It’s important to keep in mind that early booking numbers, strong or weak, do not necessarily portend how the rental season will end up: vacationer demand can drop, level off, or continue to increase. But it is certainly an early indication that bodes well for homeowners and businesses on the Cape and Islands. We will keep you posted as the season progresses.


About WeNeedaVacation: Since 1997, WeNeedaVacation has been providing an efficient and inexpensive way of matching vacationers and vacation rental homeowners. The website lists nearly 4,000 properties on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The WeNeedaVacation Vacation Planner also offers extensive information to the 175,000+ vacationers who use our site yearly, including information about beaches, events, dining, activities, and shopping. Our amazing staff provides unparalleled guidance to our Cape & Islands vacation rental homeowners. Many of our staff are vacation rental owners themselves, and all work hard to promote this special place. We proudly belong to 17 local Chambers of Commerce.

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Phone: (888) 281-8660