First Comprehensive Research of U.S. Vacation Rentals Reveals $24 Billion Industry
PhoCusWright Report Shows HomeAway Leading Online Market
AUSTIN, TX, October 20, 2008 — The long-underestimated vacation rental industry has become more than a niche, with leisure travelers driving the growth of the $24.3 billion market and viewing the HomeAway, Inc. sites as the most- trusted in the U.S., according to a first-of-its-kind research study, PhoCusWright’s Vacation Rental Marketplace: Poised for Change.
Co-sponsored by 14 industry players and HomeAway, the world’s leading vacation rental marketplace with more than 309,000 properties, the study also reports online vacation rental bookings will grow from $2.8 billion in 2007 to $4.6 billion in 2010. More than 40 percent of leisure travelers considered or booked a vacation rental in the past year.
“HomeAway has been dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of vacation rentals for a long time, so we’re thrilled there is independent research validating the incredible potential of this market,” says Brian Sharples, HomeAway CEO.
Sharples adds vacation rentals are uniquely positioned in the current uncertain economic environment because they offer great value for travelers and significant income for owners that either rent their vacation home year-round or simply wish to offset the expenses of a second home.
HomeAway Sites—Leading the Online Industry
PhoCusWright’s report reveals the U.S. HomeAway sites—HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com— are not only the most popular with travelers, but also provide incredibly effective online marketing tools for owners to generate inquiries and bookings.
With travelers, the HomeAway sites rank as the most-trusted and visited, surpassing all other vacation rental sites by a significant margin. For homeowners, the research concluded that HomeAway-owned sites yield more online booking inquiries and revenue, while allowing homeowners to spend less on marketing.
“Advertising with Homeaway is simply the most efficient way for owners and managers of vacation rentals to connect with millions of rental travelers from all over the world,” Sharples says.
Property Managed or Rent-by-Owner?
While some newcomers to the industry have made claims suggesting major differences between renting directly from a homeowner or through a property manager (what the PhoCusWright study refers to as “vacation rental management companies”), the PhoCusWright data dispels this myth.
In reality, travelers perceive little difference and select vacation rental homes that best fit their individual needs. In fact, the study reveals travelers are highly satisfied with both types of rental experiences and nine out of 10 say they will rent again. HomeAway features vacation rental homes for rent both by property managers and directly by owners.
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