Preparing for the season of longer stays in the Algarve

With September upon us, people are thinking ahead to the autumn and winter months. Looking at the UK market specifically, more and more guests want a retreat from the cold weather. Furthermore, after 18 months of lockdown protocols, a winter escape is well needed.

More guests are turning to longer stays than ever before. Villa owners who accept longer term booking of 28 days-plus are certainly reaping the benefits. For owners who are considering this offering, all it takes is some careful preparation.

Embracing longer term villa rentals
For villa owners here in the Algarve, now is absolutely the time to embrace this big trend. Having introduced SandyBlue ‘Longer Stays’ in April 2020, the increase in enquiries for stays of 28 days or longer has been great to see.

A survey commissioned by Virgin Media O2 in July revealed that 38% of capital-based workers in the UK planned to leave the home office in exchange for an alternative location. Considering this is just the capital alone, that number is very significant.

It’s important to note that while the UK and Ireland are a big market for Algarve tourism, interest in longer stays has officially gone global. Germany, France, Switzerland and Portugal itself are high on the list of enquiries for longer stays.

What to consider when welcoming guests for a longer stay
Our villa specialists and property managers have already helped many owner partners get on board the longer-stays trend. To prepare for this, there are a few steps to ensuring a successful longer-stays offering.

For people who plan to work remotely, a work-friendly environment with fast Wi-Fi is an absolute must. With the chance to work in a sunny garden, guests really appreciate this.

The introduction of in-villa services has been a huge success and longer stays are a great way to incorporate these into a villa rental strategy. Private chefs are a hit, while personal trainers allow guests to keep active from the comfort of their villa.

Finally, regular housekeeping and maintenance checks will only show guests how much care is going into their stay. All of these factors not only leave your guests happy but will play a huge part in repeat business.

Getting your villa on the map
For owners, longer stays guarantees a steady stream of revenue and tapping into this market will only attract more guests. The market for new guests has widened more than ever before, with this trend also encouraging repeat bookings from guests. We look forward to seeing this trend continue to rise here in the Algarve.

By Joe Mountain
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Joe Mountain is founder of Algarve villa rental specialists SandyBlue.
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