After the confinement period is over, the Portuguese are already looking for solutions for weekends, holidays and vacations and many have opted for motorhomes.
According to data from Yescapa, a private motorhome rental platform, there are already 500 confirmed reservations for the summer in Portugal, which translates into 3,500 travel days booked, in addition to 50 reservations made for the last two weekends. May and 120 confirmed bookings for the upcoming “holiday week”.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed the plans of many Portuguese, who are now looking for alternatives for their summer holidays. One of the bets has been the motorhome, whose demand has been increasing since the beginning of the deflation. And many Portuguese are betting on this way of travelling for the first time since 78% of visitors to the Yescapa website say that it is the first time that they experience travelling by motorhome.
Yescapa recorded, this year, an increase of almost 400% of visits on the site and an increase of 50% of confirmed reservations, when compared with the same period of the previous year. There is also an increase in the number of owners who want to make their motorhomes more profitable. Yescapa now has 600 vehicles registered in Portugal available on its website, while the number was 420 at the end of 2019.
The profile of the Portuguese who have made reservations goes through families between 35 and 45 years old, with one or two children, and who travel for the first time by motorhome. The most frequent travel projects are the Costa Vicentina, a road trip through the Douro, through Estrada Nacional 2 and Alentejo. There is also a trend for last-minute bookings, made with little time before the start of the trip.
“We have come to realize that, in the last few years, motorhomes are increasingly a trend in Portugal. With the period of deflation, we saw a huge increase in demand, especially from the third week of May. We anticipate that the number of reservations will reach 1,550 during the summer ”, says Portuguese-descendant Julie Da Vara, Chief Operating Officer of Yescapa globally. “In addition to being a safe way to travel, motorhome driving can also be a way of boosting local economies and the perfect opportunity to get to know Portugal’s corners better, such as river beaches”.
Due to Covid-19, Yescapa also reinforced the issues related to vehicle cleaning and disinfection, creating a set of good practices that must be followed by owners and tenants. It is therefore recommended to disinfect the vehicles before and after the rental, disinfection of the various elements/equipment of the vehicle, use of gloves and masks at check-in / check-out and that users maintain a safe distance during these moments.
Yescapa, an online platform called “Airbnb of motorhomes”, works as a reference in itinerant tourism through the rental of motorhomes, transformed vans or campervans. Arriving in Portugal in July 2018, the French-born startup has about 600 registered owners in Portugal. In 2019, around 11,500 Portuguese users turned to the platform.