Consumers are increasingly opting for staycations and on-demand experiences on-the-water, according to new data from Boatsetter, a marketplace for on-water experiences and boat rentals in the United States. Boatsetter, which offers over 50,000 boat listings in 700 locations globally, saw a 200% increase in bookings year over year, with staycations, instant booking, and multi-day bookings as key factors in this growth spike.
Amidst high travel costs and growing inflation, consumers are looking for affordable local options to try something new this summer. Since May, over 50% of the consumers booking on-the-water experiences and boats via Boatsetter have been in-market residents.
“Now more than ever, people are craving authentic experiences with family and friends. At Boatsetter, we know there is nothing more thrilling than spending time on the water and we are committed to making that opportunity accessible for all,” said Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO of Boatsetter. “Ninety-five percent of Americans live within one hour of navigable waters, but only a very small fraction have ever really had access to it before. We’re working hard to change that, and it’s wonderful to see so many locals getting to enjoy the boating lifestyle and all the experiences and activities that come along with it.”
Instant and Multi-Day bookings have also contributed to Boatsetter’s exponential growth by reducing lead times to book a boat or experience at the last minute, or for several consecutive days. Boatsetter is the only platform within the boat sharing space to effectively launch and offer these kinds of enhanced booking features. Year over year, Boatsetter saw a 140% increase in Instant Book requests, as well as a 20% increase in Multi-Day bookings.
The multi-day booking feature—allowing renters to extend their rental duration to secure a boat for multiple days in a row—is especially notable for renters looking for convenience and flexibility. For renters who have no place to dock or store a boat overnight, local boat owners drop off the boat in the morning and then pick it up in the evening, before repeating a similar process the following day(s) for the duration of the booking. Renters with access to dock space or marina slips, can also work with the boat owner to arrange a multi-day booking where they keep the boat overnight over the course of multiple days.
“I first used Boatsetter to plan a pontoon boat trip for my bachelorette party in Miami, but since then I’ve also booked multiple rentals here in Virginia Beach,” said Abby Dunlap, a Virginia Beach, VA local and repeat renter on Boatsetter. “Every experience I’ve booked with Boatsetter has been unique in its own way; whether it was the activity we had planned, where we took the boat, or what type of boat we rented. I think that’s one of my favorite parts about renting on Boatsetter, that it is so customizable.”