Record Growth of Second Homes, Popularity of Vacation Homes
Fuels New Wordwide Vacation Rental Web Site
AUSTIN, TX, June 6, 2006 — Today's launch of HomeAway.com, the most complete, user-friendly Web site with more than 60,000 vacation rental home listings, gives homeowners and property managers a new advertising channel to reach 25 million travelers who prefer to stay in rental homes rather than hotels.
Designed to make renting a vacation home easy - for both travelers and property owners and managers - HomeAway.com is a consolidation of some of the world's leading vacation rental sites including CyberRentals.com, GreatRentals.com, A1Vacations.com, TripHomes.com (formerly Rent101) and Holiday-Rentals.com.
"The launch of HomeAway.com marks the next evolution of online travel," says Brian Sharples, HomeAway, Inc. chief executive officer.
"The increased availability and popularity of vacation rentals over the last few years provides a unique opportunity to create the most economical and efficient marketing channel for property owners and managers and a single site for travelers to find the perfect vacation rental home," says Sharples.
Consequently, HomeAway.com currently lists homes, defined as anything from condos to castles, in 90 countries across six continents. The number of property listings on the site is expected to grow to 100,000 by the end of 2006.
Industry data supports the need for a consolidated, easy-to-use vacation rental site in this niche market: in 2005, vacation and investment homes accounted for four out of 10 home sales according to the National Association of Realtors, and long popular in Europe, the interest in staying in a vacation home among U.S. travelers continues to grow. In fact, the North American market for vacation rentals and timeshares is approximately $20 billion in gross travel bookings, according to travel research firm PhoCusWright.
For a $299 annual fee, HomeAway.com offers homeowners and managers the best return on investment in the industry and the opportunity to reach the ever-increasing number of vacationers who choose vacation rentals as their preferred accommodations. In turn, the company spends millions of dollars to make significant investments in the site's technology, design and marketing.
Through an easy-to-use interface, owners and managers can automatically update property listings across all sites, including adding or removing properties, change description information and communicate with interested travelers. HomeAway.com's marketing programs leverage traditional and online media to attract more travelers to HomeAway and the European sites, delivering increased exposure, inquiries and reservations.
Led by an experienced team of online and travel industry experts, HomeAway has attracted significant investments from founders and leading venture capital firms, Austin Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.
HomeAway employs more than 120 people in three countries. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in London, England; Kassel, Germany; and Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
For information contact:
Director of Public Relations HomeAway, Inc.