The Guide to Vacation Rentals in Tofino

Tofino is a great market for owning and operating a vacation rental. Lifty Life recently ranked it among the top markets in Canada. Not only is it a great place to own an Airbnb it is a great place to own a vacation property for yourself and family. Your family will love spending parts of their summer exploring the Pacific Rim, relaxing at the beach, and learning to surf.

If you are interested in Tofino property it is worth considering renting it out as a vacation rental while not it use by your family and friends. Listing sites like Airbnb and VRBO have made vacation rental management simpler and more lucrative. Alternatively there are many vacation rental manager in Tofino that specialize in the marketing and management of your property. These services are great for taking the stress of management off and since they are experts in the industry can provide superior results.

Vacation Rental Market in Tofino

The vacation rental market in Tofino has been strong for the last few years but is expected to experience a weaker year than normal due to the impacts of Covid19. Using the data of past years the average occupancy in Tofino is 71% and the average daily rate (ADR) is $283 per night.

Tofino is a seasonal market so expect both the highest occupancy and ADR during July and August. December is among the slowest months in Tofino.

There are 366 active vacation rentals in Tofino. They hold an average star rating of 4.82. This illustrates the importance of professional guest service. If you are unable to provide stellar customer service 100% of the time this market will prove difficult to be successful in.

For those that are cable of standing out in the market and providing consistent, professional, and astounding service there is a huge upside. The below table is an aggregate of all Airbnbs and VRBO listings within Tofino. The lower bracket represents the 50th percentile and the upper bracket represents the 75th percentile of earnings.

Property Type Estimated Annual Revenue
Studio $31,000 - $35,000
One Bedroom $41,000 - $47,000
Two Bedroom $42,000 - $48,000
Three Bedroom $51,000 - $79,000

While evaluating the Tofino market make sure to further evaluate the competitors, the regulations, the guests, and overall economy. Lifty Life has created a great guide for helping you evaluate Airbnb markets such as Tofino. Check out our blog post on it or feel free to reach out to our team directly.

Tofino Licencing and Zoning

If you own a property or are looking to own a property to list on vacation rental websites the first thing you need to do is confirm that your property can legally be listed as a vacation rental.

Use the below steps to go through the process. If you’re unsure about your property the best thing to do is ask. Lifty Life would be happy to look into the zoning of your property and help you with an paperwork.

Step 1: Check the zoning of you property using the Tofino GIS Portal

  • You will need to tick off the “zoning” button which will identify each municipal zone within Tofino
  • The legal zones are: R1, R4, RA1, RA2, RA3, A1, A2, A3, A4, and CD(EL) zones, as well as the Fred Tibbs condos.

Step 3: If applicable check the bylaws of your strata to confirm that short term rentals are allowed in your building.

Just because your building is legally zoned for vacation rental does not mean your strata policy will allow you to list. While you at it check the bylaws regarding noise, parking, and pets these policies will be important for when you are building your listing on Airbnb and VRBO.

Step 3: Assuming your zoning is legal the next step is to apply for a business license, the license has a $50 processing fee.

Fill in the two below documents and submit them to the Business License Inspector: Damon Johnson - [email protected]

Getting Set up

Once you’ve evaluated the market, confirmed your zoning, and got your license what is next? Simply build your listing and market it on Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO!

Please note: It is important to time going live with a peak season. Airbnb provides a short window where your listing is ranked highly on their search engine and is given the tag “new listing.” This tag and ranking boost is crucially important to utilize to its maximum potential. Going live after the peak season will make you miss out on bookings and therefore reviews. If you mistime your go live it could drastically hurt your rankings in the future.

Lifty Life has multiple guides to help setup you listings, select a target market, automate your processes, and improve your listing ranking.

Consider Ucluelet for your Vacation Rental

If you’re looking for an alternative to Tofino consider a vacation rental in Ucluelet. Ucluelet is 35 minutes south of Tofino, equally as beautiful, but less busy as its neighbour. If you want a cheaper alternative with more of a small community feel you will love Ucluelet! Check out our Ucluelet property management page for more information.

Lifty Life Vacation Rental Mangement

If you’re looking for additional help, advice, or property management services please reach out to the Lifty Life team. We would be happy to consult you on how best to be successful!