(Yicai Global) Feb. 22 -- Many homestay hosts in China are taking advantage of low rental costs to lease more properties which they will in turn rent out as short-term accommodation as the tourism sector rebounds following the recent relaxation of pandemic prevention measures, according to a program aired on state broadcaster CCTV's finance channel.
The price to rent accommodation has halved since 2019 in some places, to around CNY200,000 (USD29,000) a year, and I intend to take advantage of the price drop to sign up more properties, said Cheng Weihua, a person based in Shanghai with six years of experience offering ‘AirBnB’-like accommodation and who appeared on the show.
Homestay bookings have surged 7-fold so far this year from the same period last year, according to a short-term rental platform. And levels are now 30 percent higher than the same period in 2019 before the pandemic fully broke out, it said.
The homestay sector is now in a stage of expansion, and this is boosting investor confidence and driving up the sales price of this type of accommodation, Cheng said.
The sales price of almost 1,000 homestays close to Shanghai Disneyland has increased significantly since the beginning of the year and the turnover rate is much faster than before.
Apartments which cost CNY800,000 (USD116,000) before the pandemic, now cost CNY1.4 million (USD203,104), said Huang Binqiang, another homestay operator based in Shanghai. Despite the increased cost, he will expand, he said.
There are numerous ‘AirBnBs’ in the Mogan Mountain National Scenic Spot in southeastern Zhejiang province, and visitor numbers surged 60 percent over the week-long Spring Festival holiday last month from the same period last year to exceed pre-pandemic levels by almost 10 percent. And occupancy rates at homestays near Shanghai Disneyland were higher last month than before Covid-19.
Changsha in central Hunan province, Xi’an in central Shaanxi province, Lijiang in southwestern Yunnan province and Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province are the most popular homestay destinations so far this year.
Editor: Kim Taylor