Emerging Trend for Holiday Rentals Fuels Boom for HomeAway Inc.

Annual results released today by HomeAway, Inc., world leader of the online holiday rentals market, reveal the emergence of the industry as an increasingly significant player in the mainstream travel market. The statistics highlight a 43% year on year surge in booking enquiries from the UK, with the number of Brits listing their properties on the company’s website also up 45% on the previous year. The rapid growth of the holiday rentals sector can be attributed to the access to market provided by HomeAway.

Petra Friedmann, President of HomeAway Europe said: "Our latest figures confirm that we are a success story in today’s challenging economic climate - the company has been growing faster than any other major travel sector for several years now. We are excited about our growth prospects for 2010, as an increasing number of holiday home owners look to cover their costs with rentals and more cost conscious travellers discover the great value holiday rentals provide."

In 2009, according to Comscore, European unique visitors to HomeAway sites increased 65% year-on-year, while visitors to the broad travel category increased by just 11% . Additionally, a recent survey by HomeAway revealed that in the UK, holiday home rentals are the second most popular accommodation choice for 2010 holidays. Whilst 45% of Brits will stay in a hotel for their main 2010 holiday, 17% will opt for a holiday rental, versus 12% for a campsite or caravan and 5% for a B&B .

The rapidly growing trend for holiday rentals among UK travellers has contributed to the company’s global revenue of approximately £75 million ($120 million) for the year ended 31 December 2009, representing an impressive year-on-year increase of 45%, achieved against the backdrop of a recession. The results also reveal that over one third of the revenue was earned in Europe. This represents the ongoing success and expansion HomeAway has been experiencing since it was founded in 2005.

Continued Friedmann: “HomeAway has experienced an average annual growth rate of 95% since its foundation in 2005, driven by an equal mix of acquisitions and organic growth. However, the holiday rentals market remains a relatively undeveloped sector, with huge potential for further growth. HomeAway’s consolidation of this highly fragmented industry only began in 2005, with the focus on creating one easily accessible marketplace for owners and travellers. Now, our main objective is to increase market share through the introduction of new services that will make holiday rentals as popular as hotels.”

The company represents around 430,000 paid listings in more than 120 countries, almost half of which belong to its European sites, including the two leading sites in the UK: HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and Owners Direct. The holiday rentals industry is one of the most underestimated and under-studied, but fastest-growing sectors in online travel, and HomeAway is the undisputed market leader.

Ends

HomeAway UK
HomeAway UK operates the two market-leading websites HomeAway Holiday-Rentals (www.HomeAway.co.uk) and Owners Direct (www.OwnersDirect.co.uk), founded respectively in 1996 and 1997. HomeAway UK offers British travellers the largest selection of properties available to rent online, along with innovative search features and unrivalled levels of trust and safety for those booking direct. HomeAway.co.uk offers the largest selection of independent guest reviews and OwnersDirect.co.uk offers owner profiles for increased peace of mind. Both sites offer the industry-leading HomeAway Guarantee. 

About HomeAway, Inc.
HomeAway is the world leader of the online holiday rentals market, representing around 430,000 property listings across more than 120 countries.  The company has contributed significantly to the popularity of the holiday rentals industry, making it easier than ever for both owners to advertise and profit from their second homes and for millions of travellers to find the perfect holiday rental.  HomeAway operates sites in 11 European countries and the market-leading sites in the USA. 

HomeAway is funded by Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures and Trident Capital.  The company is based in Austin, Texas and has offices in London and Epsom, England; Kassel and Frankfurt, Germany; and Paris and Marseille, France.