What Should You Know About the Latin Short-Term Rental Market?

What Should You Know About the Latin Short-Term Rental Market?

Updated on 23/05/2024

What is the Latin short-term rental market?

The Latin short-term rental market is experiencing significant growth, particularly in South America. Projections indicate a substantial increase in revenue, with the market expected to reach US$5.13 billion by 2024, and a projected volume of US$5.68 billion by 2028, showcasing an annual growth rate of 2.58%. This growth is accompanied by an anticipated rise in the number of users, reaching 72.86 million by 2028.

Despite a slight decrease in user penetration rate from 17.1% in 2024 to 17.2% in 2028, the average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to remain stable at US$72.80. Notably, online sales are projected to dominate the market, accounting for 72% of total revenue by 2028.

In comparison to global trends, the United States is anticipated to lead in revenue generation within the vacation rentals market, with an expected revenue of US$19,770 million in 2024. However, countries like Argentina are also making significant strides in this market. Argentina’s vacation rentals sector is booming, buoyed by the country’s diverse tourism offerings and affordable prices. This growth underscores the potential and attractiveness of the Latin short-term rental market, making it a promising area for investment and expansion in the coming years.

Historical Overview of the Latin Short-Term Rental Market

The Latin vacation rental market has experienced a significant surge in growth in recent years, propelled by the rise of digital platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, an increase in travel, and a growing middle class in the region. According to Statista, the market is projected to reach $5 billion in revenue by the end of 2023, with projections showing that the figure will remain stable and even growing by 2027. While the market’s expansion has been impressive, it has not been without its share of challenges, including regulatory issues and safety concerns. Nevertheless, the Latin American short-term rental market remains robust and shows no signs of slowing down.

Evolution of the Latin Short-Term Rental Market

The Latin short-term rental market has its roots in the traditional hospitality industry, which includes hotels and other accommodation services. However, the advent of digital platforms disrupted the market, providing travelers with more affordable and flexible options. 

The market grew rapidly due to factors such as economic shifts, urbanization, and changing travel preferences. In this way, the Latin American vacation rental market saw a 41% increase in bookings between 2015 and 2016, with Mexico and Brazil being the top destinations. A study by the Inter-American Development Bank highlights its emergence, attributing it to digitalization and a desire for unique travel experiences. The market’s evolution involved regulatory challenges, technological advancements, and shifts in consumer behavior. 

Major Milestones and Shifts

The Latin American short-term rental market has undergone significant changes in recent years, driven by various factors, including economic fluctuations and urbanization. One of the leading players in the market’s growth has been Airbnb, which has been operating in the region since 2012. As of 2017, Latin America was Airbnb’s fastest-growing market, boasting over 250,000 properties across South America, Mexico, Cuba, and the Caribbean. 

Despite regulatory and safety challenges, the market continued to grow, with a 41% increase in bookings between 2015 and 2016, according to Inman. The market also witnessed the entry of new players and the adoption of innovative technologies, leading to an improved rental experience for travelers and hosts alike. This industry has also experienced a shift towards professional property management companies, offering more reliable and consistent experiences for guests. Furthermore, the rise of regulatory frameworks and tax regulations has brought about increased transparency and accountability in the industry.

Current Trends and Dynamics in the Latin Short-Term Rental Market

The Latin short-term rental market has seen significant growth in recent years, with the number of listings on major online travel agencies (OTAs) rising by 62%, just 1% behind North America’s 63%, according to Transparent. Europe and Asia also experienced growth, with 20% and 27% respectively, while Oceania was the only region to see a negative trend at -1.7%. The rise of vacation rental listings in these regions may be attributed to the trend of professionalization, which is gaining momentum in the Latin American market. Professional brands have emerged, contributing to increased competition and a rise in short-term rental occupancy. This market trend is a serious alternative to traditional forms of accommodations like hotels, and Latin America has seen a relative increase in supply, indicating a recovery in the sector. The degree of professionalization in the region corresponds with this data, highlighting the importance of considering the tourist ecosystem in terms of emerging trends, technological applications, historical and current rates, and occupancy.

Popular Locations and Their Appeal

Between September 2020 and August 2022, the short-term rental market (STR) for entire home listings in Latin America witnessed a remarkable surge. Transparent reports that Vacation rentals in Dominican Republic and Costa Rica have the largest market size, with over 40,000 properties each, and the most significant positive trend. Short-term in Panama and Guatemala also show a steady increase, with 8,000 to 10,000 properties each. Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, and El Salvador have 3,000 to 6,000 properties each, with Belize and Nicaragua slightly decreasing their STR supply. The region’s vacation rental industry has been recovering or stabilizing since the emergence of the Covid 19 pandemic. The Dominican Republic, the largest of the countries, experienced a 71% growth, while El Salvador, the smallest, experienced the highest market growth at 78%. In contrast, the STR demand increased by 29%, indicating that the trend for short-term rentals is on the rise in the region.

Pricing and Seasonal Variations

The Latin short-term rental market exhibits diverse pricing and notable seasonal fluctuations. It is subject to pricing variations due to seasonal demand. During peak travel seasons, prices tend to rise, while off-peak seasons may have lower prices to attract more guests. According to Transparent, major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City also experience peak pricing during holidays and festivals. Conversely, low-demand periods occur during off-peak months due to weather conditions and reduced tourism. These fluctuations highlight the market’s sensitivity to cultural festivities and climatic factors, shaping the pricing strategies adopted by hosts. Professional brands have also contributed to increased competition, which can affect pricing.

Nowadays, Costa Rica emerges as the leading protagonist in terms of price rise, witnessing a staggering 23% surge in prices. According to transparent, this country stands tall as the priciest destination within the region, demanding an average of $130 per night. Trailing closely behind is the Dominican Republic, experiencing a 14% price hike, followed by Honduras with a 12% increase and Nicaragua with an 11% surge. Panama, on the other hand, experienced a comparatively modest rise of 5% in prices. In contrast, Guatemala stands as the cheapest destination, with a notable decrease of 4% in average accommodation prices. Prices are around $70 to $80 for a comfortable stay in Guatemala’s captivating embrace.

Impact of Technology and Platforms like Airbnb

The rise of technology and platforms has led to increased competition in the market, which could influence pricing trends. The widespread adoption of softwares with automation features and internet access further fueled growth, by facilitating task management and increasing efficiency and improving guest experience.

Technology and platforms like Airbnb also have had a significant impact on the Latin American short-term rental market. Airbnb, in particular, has disrupted the traditional hospitality industry by offering unique and affordable accommodation options to travelers. According to a report by Statista, the number of Airbnb users in Latin America is projected to reach 37.9 million by 2023, with Brazil being the largest market. The report also highlights that Mexico and Argentina are the second and third largest markets, respectively. 

Challenges and Opportunities in the Latin Short-Term Rental Market

The Latin American short-term rental market can be a double-edged sword for property owners and managers. While it presents numerous opportunities, such as the growing demand for affordable and unique accommodation options, the rise of technology and platforms like Airbnb, and the potential for increased revenue streams, it also poses significant challenges. One of the most pressing challenges is the lack of regulation in some countries, which could lead to issues with safety, taxation, and legal compliance. Furthermore, the high competition in the market could result in pricing pressures and lower profit margins. Despite these hurdles, the Latin American short-term rental market is projected to surge to $5 billion by 2025, indicating significant growth potential, according to Statista.

Regulatory and Legal Hurdles

The regulatory and legal hurdles of the Latin American short-term rental market have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that regulation can help protect consumers by ensuring that properties meet safety and hygiene standards. It can also create a level playing field for property owners and managers, preventing unfair competition. However, excessive regulation can stifle the growth of the market and make it difficult for property owners to operate their businesses. It can also lead to higher costs and reduced profits. A balanced and fair regulatory framework is essential for the sustainable growth of the short-term rental market in Latin America.

Cultural and Regional Considerations

In the Latin American short-term rental market, cultural and regional considerations are key for property owners and managers. To provide personalized and satisfactory experiences for guests, a deep understanding of the cultural norms and preferences is necessary to their target markets. In addition, they must navigate the regional differences in language, currency, and payment methods. The Latin American market is incredibly diverse, with each country possessing its unique cultural and regional characteristics. Therefore, property owners must adopt a tailored approach to their marketing and operations to thrive in this market.

Competition from hotels

Competition from hotels is a significant factor shaping the dynamics of the Latin short-term rental market. While vacation rentals offer unique benefits such as privacy, space, and a homely environment, hotels remain formidable competitors, particularly in urban areas and established tourist destinations. Hotels boast established brands, extensive amenities, and professional services that appeal to certain segments of travelers, especially those seeking consistency and reliability. Additionally, hotels often have prime locations and access to business networks, making them preferred choices for corporate travelers and large groups.

Moreover, hotels have adapted to changing consumer preferences by offering flexible booking options, loyalty programs, and enhanced guest experience. Many hotels have also expanded their offerings to include apartment-style accommodations, blurring the lines between traditional hotels and vacation rentals.

To remain competitive, short-term rental providers must leverage their unique selling points, such as personalized experiences, local authenticity, and often lower prices compared to hotels. Additionally, investing in technology, enhancing property management practices, and improving guest communication and satisfaction are vital strategies for staying ahead in the face of hotel competition.

Overall, while hotels pose a formidable challenge to short-term rental providers, the market’s growth potential and evolving consumer preferences offer ample opportunities for both sectors to thrive by adapting to meet the diverse needs of modern travelers.

Future Outlook: Predictions and Expectations

The Latin American market for vacation rentals is becoming a popular alternative to traditional accommodations like hotels. Recent data shows that the vacation rental industry in the region is growing, and becoming more professionalized. This growth is reflected in the increasing inventory of vacation rental properties, as well as in their average daily rates (ADR) and occupancy rates. According to statistics, inventory has seen a notable rise of 30%, while average occupancy rates for vacation rentals have gone up by 29%. It is important to keep a close eye on these trends, as they provide insight into the growth of the industry and emerging patterns in supply and demand.

The Role of Technology in Shaping the Future of the Latin Rental Market

Technology is playing an increasingly vital role in the future of the Latin rental market. Property owners and managers are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to stay competitive in the market. Latin America is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world when it comes to technology adoption, providing a significant opportunity for vacation rental owners to professionalize their business, and continue to evolve and thrive in the future. 

Long-Term Impact of Global Events and Travel Trends

The Latin American short-term rental market’s evolution is intricately linked to global events and travel trends. The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped preferences, emphasizing safety and spacious accommodations. Remote work trends also fostered extended stays, while sustainability concerns amplified eco-friendly lodging choices. Geopolitical shifts and economic dynamics also influence travel patterns and destination choices. All these factors collectively steer the market trajectory, highlighting its resilience and adaptability to meet changing traveler demands.

Collaboration and Partnerships

Collaboration and partnerships are integral strategies for navigating the long-term impact of global events and travel trends in the short-term rental market.

In an increasingly interconnected world, collaboration enables stakeholders to leverage collective strengths, resources, and expertise to address common challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. By forming partnerships with other industry players such as hotels, OTAs, DMOs, and technology providers, short-term rental providers can expand their market reach, enhance the guest experience, and drive innovation.

Partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs) and distribution channels allow short-term rental providers to access a wider audience of potential guests, increasing bookings and revenue. Collaborations with technology companies enable rental hosts to adopt innovative solutions such as keyless entry systems or smart home devices, enhancing the overall guest experience and staying competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Furthermore, partnerships facilitate knowledge sharing and resource pooling among stakeholders, fostering a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and improvement within the industry. By collaborating on sustainability initiatives, regulatory compliance efforts, or community engagement projects, short-term rental providers can address environmental and social concerns while building stronger, more resilient communities.

In essence, collaboration and partnerships are essential for short-term rental providers to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by global events and travel trends. By working together, industry stakeholders can adapt to changing consumer preferences, regulatory requirements, and market dynamics, ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of the hospitality industry as a whole.

In conclusion, the Latin American short-term rental market is a dynamic and promising industry that continues to expand at an impressive rate. With its rich history, current trends, and future possibilities, this market presents a wealth of opportunities for both property owners and travelers alike.

As technology and digital platforms continue to shape the landscape, competition within the market has intensified. However, Hostify stands out as a game-changer, offering a comprehensive solution to the challenges faced by property owners and managers. By streamlining operations and enhancing guest experiences, Hostify empowers hosts to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.

With projections indicating that the market will reach a staggering $5 billion by 2025, it’s clear that there is immense potential for growth and success. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity! Take the first step towards maximizing your property’s potential by booking a free demo with Hostify today. Unleash the power of innovation and elevate your short-term rental business to new heights with Hostify.


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