I grew up in small towns. Maybe you did too.
Often I felt like the bird on the left side of this photo: part of the community, but not really. Sometimes acknowledge, even included, but never really accepted and understood.
Through a series of events and life choices, I own real estate in a small town/rural (STR) in America's Heartland. Some commercial, some residential, some long-term rentals, some short-term rentals (STR). I believe that the vacation rentals must be offered to all travelers, but the Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com frankly have little or no clue about "small town/rural" travel.
So what is STR (small town/rural) travel? It may be easier to explain what it isn't. In the STR (short-term rental) community, most travelers want to soak up rays on the beach and splash in the ocean, jump into a motorboat and water ski at a lake, and hike mountain trails to take pictures of vistas, flora and fauna at national parks. And, of course, visit large metropolitan areas to see the sights or destinations to enjoy family time at theme parks.
That list leaves out thousands of places that receive little, if any, notice. Second- and third-tier cities that have plenty to do, but without the crowds. Popular destinations well known regionally, but not nationally. Smaller towns that with local festivals and filled with small businesses.
This blog reflects my opinions, something well-informed, but usually not, about the vacation industry as a whole and the role of STR x STR (short-term rentals in small town/rural) that are currently overlooked, but maybe not for much longer, I hope.
I know you'll disagree with my thoughts - that's only fair. I just ask that, in return, that any comments be considerate.
Thanks for understanding!
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