As we approach the anniversary of when the pandemic truly began to impose itself on the world - the first couple weeks of March - there are many things to reflect upon.
There are the obvious ones like the unimaginable death toll, the severity of the economic damage, and the millions of job losses, to name a few. There are, however, other more subtle effects that will linger for a long time that might not be so obvious.
In the travel industry, a painful realization is that we will be entering a “Historical Data Deadzone” - pricing and occupancy data from roughly early March of 2020 to early 2021 will be skewed because of how much the pandemic affected every aspect of the global travel industry during that period.
The hospitality rental market literally fell off a cliff the first week of March 2020. Some markets, like the drive-to markets in the United States, rebounded relatively quickly, while others like major cities and most of Europe still remain comatose to this day.
Tainted, but Still Useful, Data
Due to this extraordinary circumstance, data collected during this period will forever be tainted. While we can still utilize this data, it will require an asterisk to remind us that it occurred during the pandemic. We can’t just simply include it with data from years prior, or compare it with data for the years in front of us, because they will never be an apples-to-apples comparison.
Data on how listings have priced historically is obviously a major component of any pricing algorithm. Since March 2020, we’ve taken steps to alleviate tainted “covid data” from impacting our algorithm. The low rates and vacancy levels of last March and April will not be carried forward this year, so there is no threat to a listing’s price being skewed one way or another because of the pandemic.
Additionally, past performance is not the only thing that we take into consideration when working with our algorithm. We prioritize real-time and forward-looking data, like booking pace, lead time, as well as a host of other variables, to understand how a market is performing, regardless of its past performance.
We know how difficult the last year has been. It’s affected all of us. We are in this together and you can rely on Beyond to continue providing you with the best pricing tool algorithm on the market.
Continued Optimism for the Short-Term Rental Market
We believe that the travel industry in general and the short-term market in particular will not only continue to rebound from the global pandemic but thrive in the years to come. Even when we level out and get back to “normal”, however, there will always remain one lingering effect of the pandemic that we can’t do anything about - the irreparable destruction of historical data by a once-in-a-century event.
If you have any questions or concerns about how best to utilize your own asterisk data, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your customer success team or email@example.com.
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