Smart working, teleworking or working from home with its many names has been one of the most evident and revolutionary "side effects" of the coronavirus pandemic, something which is also probably here to stay. At the same time, it has suggested an innovative change of perspective for the holiday homes market. idealista/news, to deepen the topic, interviewed Marco Celani, CEO of Italianway, the first company operating in the tourist rental sector that has recognised and intercepted the emerging trend of holiday working, the new trend in Italy for remote workers.
Many people who have the opportunity to work remotely, without having to go to the office, have already started to look for houses for rent near tourist resorts in the second half of 2020, and in some cases abroad, in order to combine teleworking with the possibility of spending free time outside of working hours at the seaside or in the mountains.
The impact of the pandemic on the Italian holiday home market
Analysing the COVID effect on the tourist rental market, Marco Celani points out that the market has seen different trends with "the collapse of demand in the city market compared to the maintenance of the position, if not increase, in the seaside, country and mountain markets", something which has also given rise to the change in booking habits and methods.
Another key point highlighted by Italianway's CEO is that of "being flexible", given that "in order to intercept new needs, there has been a decrease in non-refundable fares and a great preference by travellers for refundable fares".
Another trend that has been highlighted as a result of the pandemic is "the digitalisation of older age groups: there has been an increase of 78% of users over 65 and increases of 60% of users over 55, a sign that these groups have converted to digital bookings in a short period of time and have found it easier to spend longer periods on holiday due to their work position".
However, the main element of innovation with respect to the pre-COVID period is that of teleworking: "analysing the impact of the pandemic on the Italian holiday home market, we cannot fail to mention the phenomenon that was first highlighted in summer 2020 and that we renamed 'holiday working': a new way of thinking about and experiencing holidays, combining relaxation and work in a house by the sea or in the mountains", underlines the CEO of Italianway.
Holiday working and the new concept of holiday homes
Holiday rental companies are adapting to this new reality that teleworking is here to stay. Companies such as Italianway, in fact, have created a sections on their websites dedicated precisely to holiday working with the most beautiful homes suitable for this type of new way of living for a longer or shorter period elsewhere than one's own residence, usually spacious properties with wifi, plenty of outdoor space and comfortable surroundings.
Celani adds that people "have learnt to make the most of smart working and therefore 2021 will consecrate holiday working as a hospitality trend for the future. If the summer season starts early, we expect a boom in stays as early as April, tending to be in country resorts or near the sea". And depending on vaccination campaigns worldwide, the second half of the year could also see the return of international visitors who may equally take the opportunity to work remotely in the sun.