Barbados Vacation Rentals – Online Distribution
The Villa Rental market in Barbados dates back to the 1960s with the development of Sandy Lane’s original residential subdivision, followed a few decades later by Port St Charles in the 1990s and has been growing annually ever since. When the last study was completed almost 15 years ago on the villa rental supply in Barbados, it was long before the advent of what is now a well-known, Vacation Rental industry, born out of the launch of Online Travel Agents (OTAs). What is an OTA? To put it simply, an OTA is a website where you can book travel services such as hotels, holiday homes, flights, transfers, and activities. The first online platform to enable vacation rental bookings was VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) which was launched in 1995 and has since merged with HomeAway before being acquired by online travel powerhouse Expedia in 2015. A number of OTAs include Booking.com, VRBO/HomeAway, AirBNB, and other such sites that now support a multi-million-dollar industry in the Sharing Economy.
The global short-term vacation rental market is projected to reach US$96.85bn in 2023 and grow by 2.69% in the next four years, resulting in a market volume of US$107.7 billion by 2027. In Barbados, online channels have had a significant effect on alternative tourism accommodation. In a study completed in 2020 for Barbados, it estimated revenue generated by the Sharing Economy to be over US$252m. There are now over 11,000 listings on the top 3 online channels in Barbados. Demand has continued to rise since the pandemic with occupancies reaching record levels in the villa market for the past two years. Even more important to note is that this trend has continued despite the fact that tourism arrivals have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels experienced in 2018/2019, (2022 being 75% of 2019 and Q1 of 2023 reaching 90%) – this suggests that the share of tourists staying in Vacation Rentals has increased proportionately overall.
The resource below provides you with information from Transparent Intelligence on the supply in Barbados of Vacation Rentals on the major OTAs as of July 2023. You can mouse over elements in the charts below for additional information.