Vacation Rental Data: Why Scraping Vacation Trends Works

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted the vacation industry. Families had to carefully consider when they were traveling and staying, paying attention to travel restrictions and flight cancellations while also being mindful of which vacation destinations were open and safe to enjoy.

Scraping vacation rental data has helped vacationers and people in the vacation rental industry stay on top of all these changes. Understanding vacation rental market trends help vacationers plan affordable family vacations. Meanwhile, rental homeowners and other businesses in the tourism industry can use vacation rental trends to market themselves, improve sales, and increase customer engagement. We’ll discuss all this and more, and you can use the table of contents to skip to the most relevant sections.

The travel industry has shifted as the pandemic continues. Vaccinations may make people more confident about traveling, but increases in case numbers may make people more cautious for a time. Outdoor-focused travel destinations are doing much better than indoor destinations where people are forced to crowd together.

Airbnb and other owners of short-term rental properties have felt the impact of COVID-19: 64% of guests have either canceled or planned to cancel a short-term rental due to the pandemic. Hosts have lost thousands of dollars in revenue due to continually changing travel plans. But things are changing for the better. As of February 2022, predictions estimated that the demand for short-term rentals would grow by 15%.

People with children were almost twice as likely to have traveled since the pandemic started as people without children. As vaccinations have rolled out, the importance of reconnecting with family has been first and foremost in many minds. Grandparents are eager to reconnect with grandchildren, and parents who weren’t confident about traveling may be looking to make up for lost time by providing their children with new experiences. Road trips are increasingly popular since they allow families to travel without navigating airport lines and canceled flights.

The constantly-evolving short-term rental landscape impacts guests and hosts alike. For example, guests may not know how to budget for vacation plans since historical vacation rental price trends may not align with this year’s costs. Similarly, hosts may struggle to price their rental space competitively.

If you type the words “midwest vacation rent cost trends” into your search engine, thousands of results will pop up. Some results may be relevant, while others may be outdated. Parsing all this information takes time and dedication, but web scrapers can help.

Web scraping is extracting data from websites and importing it into a format users can examine and analyze. It’s much faster than gathering data manually, but the downside to that speed is that scrapers are easy to detect. Many websites ban bots and bot-like behavior to protect the integrity of their websites. While web scraping is legal, some sites would rather avoid scrapers altogether for fear they will slow their website down. Always scrape during the site’s off-hours to avoid overloading the servers with your requests. Not only is this polite, but it will also help your scraper remain undetected. You can also use proxies to give your web scraper a leg up. When choosing proxies for web scraping, you need fast, reliable, and anonymous ones. Rayobyte residential, data center and ISP proxies are just what you need for disturbance-free, ethical, and efficient data extraction.

Data center proxies

Data center proxies originate from a data center; they boast impressive speed and are often very affordable. However, it’s easy for a website to tell when activity is coming from a data center. It may automatically ban you to avoid bots. We work with you to customize your diversification across subnets to get the right combination of performance and cost. Not only do we have an extreme diversity of C-class subnets, but A- and B-classes too.

ISP proxies

ISP proxies are one of your best proxy options. Rayobyte’s ISP proxies can match data center proxies in speed and are as undetectable as residential proxies. They’re hosted in a data center but use IP addresses issued by ISPs, so they appear much more human-like than data center proxies. The best of both proxy worlds. In addition, Rayobyte puts no limits on bandwidth or threads, meaning more significant savings for you! Rayobyte currently offers ISP proxies from the US, UK, and Germany. They also provide both dedicated and semi-dedicated ISP proxies.

Residential proxies

Residential proxies are sourced from actual end-users with IP addresses issued by an ISP. These are the IP addresses most people use to access the internet. It’s nearly impossible for a website to tell a scraper from a human user when using a residential proxy, as long as you don’t engage in blatant bot-like behavior. As a result, websites are much less likely to ban a residential IP address without a good reason.

Because residential proxies have to be obtained directly from end-users, ethical proxy providers have to take extra steps to ensure that they aren’t negatively affected when their IP address is used. At Rayobyte, we set the industry standard for ethical proxy sourcing. We make sure our end-users provide fully informed consent. We don’t bury our TOS at the bottom of pages of small type. We only use their IP addresses when their devices are either plugged in or charged and if they aren’t using them. We’re always happy to discuss our ethical practices.

Web scraping vacation rental properties with these three proxies allow you to collect data en masse without hassle. As a result, short-term rental vacation booking trends can be collected and analyzed at a much larger scale than any one person can do on their own. This information can then be used to make strategic vacation decisions.

But what information can you collect when scraping vacation rental properties? Here are just a few examples:

Vacation rental price trends

Whether you’re a guest trying to predict how much a rental will cost or a host looking to price your space for the season appropriately, you’ll want to look at vacation rental market trends.

It’s not enough to just look for the cost of rentals. Prices can be impacted by:

  • The size and upkeep of the rental property
  • The location of the rental property
  • The time of year

Comparing these different factors can be challenging for any individual to do. But with web scraping, you can compare year-over-year historical data for numerous properties. This helps you evaluate rental pricing fairly.

Hosts can use this data to set fair prices on their homes, estimate potential occupancy rates in the future, and set a budget accordingly. And vacationers can use this data to decide the size and location of the house they’re looking for, plan their vacation, and set a housing budget.

Current vacation travel trends

The cost of lodging isn’t the only thing that impacts travelers. Vacation travel trends can help you predict where travelers are going to be. This data might include:

  • The most popular seasons for traveling to different locations
  • The time of day, travelers tend to be on the roads
  • The days of the week, travelers tend to book vacations
  • The number of time travelers spend on vacations, on average
  • The events and excursions tourists are most interested in seeing

Contact details for listing agents

Hosts use listing agents to confirm that they’re setting reasonable prices and following relevant rules and regulations in their areas. And vacationers rely on listing agents to find the right rental property for their needs. But finding those listing agents is another challenge entirely.

By scraping vacation rental data and consolidating the scraped data, finding contact information for listing agents is a breeze.

With the vast array of vacation rental data available, it’s no surprise that an equally wide range of people can use that data to make smart vacation decisions. Three major groups benefit from scraping vacation rental data: vacationers, hosts, and other people in the tourism industry.

Vacationers

Vacationers may scrape vacation rental sites to decide where to get the best bang for their buck.

Knowing trends about where people are vacationing can help vacationers decide which locations have the best events at different times of the year. Suppose a family knew they wanted to take a vacation during the summer months but weren’t sure where to go. They could use scraped data to find out about the best vacation spots during that period.

Vacationers can also use scraped data to save money by avoiding the most popular destinations when they’re traveling. For example, if a young couple wanted to go to Disney but didn’t want to deal with long lines, they could use scraped data to predict when families are most likely to travel to Orlando — and then plan their vacation at a different time.

Hosts

Short-term rental hosts can use scraped data to determine when to raise and lower the prices of their rental properties. Understanding vacation trends can also help hosts predict their lean seasons and budget accordingly. Instead of dealing with a “feast or famine” lifestyle, they can save money from the busy season to offset the costs of the lean season.

Hosts can also understand the return on investment they receive for their rental property and decide whether upgrades to their rental property are worth the investment.

For example, if a host decided whether to install a pool in their rental property, they could use scraped data to find out how much more vacationers in their area were willing to spend for properties with pools. Based on that information, they could decide if the benefits would adequately offset the costs associated with owning a pool.

Other tourism businesses

Other businesses in the tourism industry, from shop owners to travel agents, can use scraped web data to understand where tourists will congregate. This can help them:

  • Set prices on their products and determine when to set sales
  • Market their business appropriately
  • Determine the best operating hours for their business
  • Understand who their target audience should be based on which travelers are most likely to be in the area

Web creators can also use scraped data to create travel websites that generate revenue while providing genuine value to users. They may, for example, scrape reviews of local haunts to determine the best vacation spots to recommend for people traveling to certain locations. Or they might be able to create a listing of the top short-term rentals in the area based on pricing and distance from popular destinations.

Scraping Vacation Trends: Final Thoughts

Scraping vacation rental data has the potential to help everyone in the tourism and vacation industry, from the hosts of rental properties to store owners and website hosts to the vacationers themselves. But you don’t have to be a programming expert to take advantage of web scraping. Using a prebuilt scraper like Scraping Robot can help you parse website metadata and avoid blocks and CAPTCHAs. Using Rayobyte proxies can help you avoid bans and get the vacation rental data you’re searching for. Contact us today!

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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