I am writing this on my way home from Florence after the two-day Vacation Rental World Summit which is organised and hosted by Antonio Bortolotti. After two full days and fun nights of vacation rental immersion – I’ve now had some time to reflect on the weekend from the comfort of my EasyJet seat.

It was at Antonio’s 2016 event in Barcelona that I decided to fully focus on working with vacation rental clients, and to hone my PR specialism in this exciting industry that is currently going through a time of growth, transformation, energy and excitement.

I haven’t looked back. Neither has the Summit.

This year’s VRWS attracted more than 200 owners, property managers, OTAs and industry thought leaders from 25 countries, spread over 5 continents. Impressive statistics that show that the frontline of the vacation rental industry is willing to travel far and wide in order to learn how to be better, do better and serve better. 

Over the course of the two days I had many interesting conversations with owners, property managers, the OTA’s, tech companies, service suppliers and industry experts. Our discussions invariably covered both the big challenges, but also the huge opportunities facing their individual businesses and the industry as a whole.

But for me, over the entire weekend, the key theme and the big take-away was about Experience.

Questions raised and discussions covered by the speakers included; How do vacation rental businesses leverage their own experience in order to carve a niche in a competitive industry? How do hosts and PM’s best fulfil guests’ desire for experience, and how do they monetize this? How do ambitious and scalable PM’s and VRM’s ensure their processes are optimised to provide guests with a consistent experience? How do brands provide and distribute extraordinary content in order to encapsulate the experience they offer? And finally – thanks to a stellar final presentation by Robin Clifford from Airbnb providing us with insight into Millennials and the future of travel….the future will be all about the Experience.

So, my thoughts as I fly over the Alps?

Those that can both promise and deliver the best experience – from the dream stage, through the enquiry and the booking process, to the delivery of a guest’s entire stay – will be the vacation rental winners.

About Jessica Gillingham

Jessica is the director of Abode PR. Jessica writes and speaks regularly on topics related to public relations, the short-term rental industry and the travel industry. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a director of Visit Bath and founder of industry resource PillowTalk Media.


Posted in Our Thinking, Short-Term Rental Industry