Unlocking the Best Booking Strategy: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Booking

img Chinta bukitvista | January 12, 2024

Hi, I’m Chinta a business data scientist at Bukit Vista. I leverage data analytics to identify and implement revenue-generation opportunities across our 100+ vacation rental businesses in Bali. By analyzing large datasets and uncovering insights, I have seen how data-driven booking strategy can optimize pricing, occupancy rates, and guest satisfaction.

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In the dynamic world of vacation rentals and hospitality, hosts often grapple with a fundamental decision: which booking strategy should they focus on short-term bookings, which offer higher nightly rates but frequent turnovers, or opt for the stability of long-term bookings with a potentially lower per-night income? This dilemma is a crucial one, and understanding the pros and cons of each approach is essential for success in the industry.

As an owner of a villa in Bali, optimizing revenue requires strategic decision-making regarding the frequency and duration of rentals. Evaluating the profitability of daily, monthly, and yearly rental options is pivotal to ensuring the financial success of your property. Let’s delve into the business aspects of each option to guide your choice.

Rental Durations

Daily Rentals

Capitalizing on the popularity of Bali as a vacation destination, daily rentals emerge as a great option. The ability to accommodate multiple guests within a month allows for a consistent income stream. Furthermore, the demand for this booking strategy enables pricing flexibility, contributing to enhanced revenue potential.

Monthly Rentals

Securing long-term tenants through monthly rentals provides stability, but it necessitates a careful balance. While offering the benefit of a more predictable income, attracting tenants for extended periods may require competitive pricing. Additionally, the trade-off involves a reduced frequency of property turnover compared to daily rentals.

Yearly Rentals

Yearly rentals may pose challenges in maximizing revenue for Bali properties. Attracting a single tenant for an extended period often demands significant rate reductions, limiting the potential for revenue growth. Furthermore, the infrequent turnover restricts opportunities for income optimization.


The duration of short-term rentals typically ranges from a few days to a few weeks, catering to travelers and temporary stays. Long-term rentals, on the other hand, generally extend for several months to years, providing more permanent housing solutions for tenants. When evaluating between these two booking strategies; short-term and long-term rentals, it’s crucial to recognize that each option comes with its distinct set of pros and cons.

Reason Why The Short-Term Booking is Better for Booking Strategy

Revenue Generation

Short-term booking in destinations like Bali boast a significant advantage in revenue generation, capitalizing on the region’s peak tourist seasons to yield higher per-night rates. This strategy is not just about maximizing immediate cash flow; it’s about seizing the opportunity for heightened earnings when demand spikes. By smartly leveraging dynamic pricing strategies during these periods, property owners can significantly boost their revenue, which often compensates for any off-peak lulls. 

In contrast, long-term booking offer a contrasting financial benefit: a steady, predictable income stream. Though the per-night earnings may be lower than short-term stays, the consistent occupancy provides a solid financial bedrock for property owners, ensuring stability and simplifying budgeting and financial forecasting. While both strategies have their merits, short-term booking stand out for their potential to rapidly scale revenue and maximize the earning power of your property investment.

Potential YoY Growth

Short-term booking exhibits remarkable potential for year-over-year growth, especially in thriving tourist hotspots like Bali. They are uniquely positioned to benefit from the region’s expanding tourism, as they can rapidly adapt to market demand, allowing for agile growth strategies that respond to the influx of visitors each year. This adaptability often results in an impressive upward trajectory of rental income, outpacing the more linear growth seen in long-term booking, which tends to follow steadier real estate trends. 

While long-term arrangements provide a consistent growth pattern that’s closely aligned with market rates and property value increases, short-term booking are the frontrunners for those looking to capitalize on the dynamic ebb and flow of the travel economy, offering the possibility of a steeper growth curve as tourist numbers rise.

The data on year-on-year revenue growth doesn’t just tell a story; it invites you to imagine the possibilities inherent in short-term booking. The upward trajectory is clear, culminating in a staggering 926% increase in peak season months like July. Take a moment to consider these numbers—what could such explosive growth mean for your property? This isn’t just growth; it’s an opportunity to redefine your earning potential, leveraging the adaptability of short-term booking strategies to capitalize on the ebb and flow of tourist tides. Picture your property thriving amidst this surge; now reflect on how a tailored short-term booking approach could harness such robust seasonal demand, setting the stage for substantial revenue peaks that might far exceed your expectations.

Dynamic Pricing of Short-Term Booking Versus Long-Term Booking

Dynamic pricing stands as a cornerstone of an effective short-term booking strategy, granting property owners the flexibility to maximize profits during high-demand periods. By employing a responsive pricing model, short-term booking can adjust rates to match the pulsating rhythm of Bali’s tourist influx, ensuring that every night is optimized for revenue generation. This facet of the short-term booking approach sharply contrasts with the long-term booking strategy, where such real-time price adjustments are not feasible. While long-term booking provides ease with straightforward, stable pricing conducive to simpler budgeting, the agility of dynamic pricing in short-term booking empowers owners to swiftly respond to market conditions, transforming booking strategy into a high-yield asset.

adjusting price through dynamic pricing
Dynamic Pricing of Short-Term Booking

Steering Through the Management of Short-Term Booking

The management of short-term booking, while more labor-intensive due to regular guest turnover—necessitating frequent cleaning, ongoing maintenance, and constant communication—offers a unique advantage. It allows for a hands-on approach that can directly influence guest satisfaction and, subsequently, the number of bookings. 

This proactive involvement in the day-to-day operations often translates into better reviews and repeat business, a critical factor in the competitive landscape of short-term booking. Conversely, long-term booking demands significantly less daily oversight, which could be seen as a perk for those seeking a more passive investment. However, the interactive nature of short-term booking management often yields a more dynamic and immediately rewarding booking strategy, perfect for hosts who are active participants in the hospitality market.

booking strategy

Finding the Right Balance

In conclusion, when asked whether the booking strategy is better, the answer is that short-term booking is preferred because it offers more benefits to listing performance and bookings. However, even though short-term booking is recommended, a long-term booking strategy is not ruled out and can be implemented if there is a significant risk associated with daily rentals.

 This is something that Bukit Vista experienced during the pandemic. The strategy employed was a long-term approach due to low turnover and lockdown measures in place. Here is sample of property that transforming from “both long-term and short term” strategy to “only short-term” strategy during the pandemic.

short term vs long term graph
One of our partners revenue using different strategy

Hope you have a better understanding of which booking strategy to employ now. If you want to learn more about the optimal rental property strategy, we provide a business plan for property owners who want hassle-free management from Bukit Vista.

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