2010 travel outlook; rentals to rival hotels as Brits seek more for less

HomeAway UK’s Q1 report reveals rentals are 2nd top accommodation choice after hotels

Report highlights
  • Around one in five Brits will choose a holiday home rental for their main holiday in 2010
  • HomeAway inventory now rivals that of largest hotel chains in the world: 480,000+ properties v. Intercontinental’s stock of 620,000+ hotel rooms
  • Supply will continue to grow as more owners look to cover their costs: over half of owners renting their property cover 50% of their mortgage with rentals

Following one of the coldest, longest winters on record, Brits desire for an overseas holiday remains strong despite the ongoing recession, according to HomeAway UK, which operates the two market leading holiday rentals sites www.HomeAway.co.uk and www.OwnersDirect.co.uk. However, dwindling savings and spare cash mean the focus remains squarely on value for money and deals.

Growing supply and demand
With a wider choice of holiday home rentals than ever before – over 480,000 now on HomeAway sites alone – and given that rentals can work out up to half the cost of hotels, sometimes less, it’s no wonder they are fast becoming the preferred accommodation option for many.

In a survey of over 1,000 Brits in February, the company found around one in five will choose a rental for their main 2010 holiday, making them the second most popular accommodation option after hotels. HomeAway UK predicts this market share will continue to grow in 2010.

Courtney Wylie, General Manager for HomeAway.co.uk comments, “The online holiday rentals industry is already a significant sector of the travel market, but the opportunity for growth is still huge. We estimate only around one in five British holiday home owners currently rent out their property. So, as the recession drives not only more owners to rent out their properties, but more travellers to look for great value accommodation, supply and demand look set to soar further still.”

For further details, read the full report pages 3 & 4

The opportunity for owners
The opportunity for owners to offset their costs is considerable: Although only 17% of owners advertising on www.HomeAway.co.uk and www.OwnersDirect.co.uk bought their property with the intention of renting it out to generate income, almost a third now manage to cover all of their mortgage with rentals and 57% cover half the mortgage, or more.

The solution for travellers
For travellers, a holiday rental provides the solution to their quest for the best deal. When asked to rank how important it was to find deals on various elements of their holiday, travellers visiting HomeAway UK sites in February put accommodation at the top of the list. And although most travellers’ budgets for accommodation have stayed the same or increased this year, 16% are still looking to reduce their spend.

See pages 5 and 6 of the full report

Top trends for Easter and Summer 2010
In addition, although the ‘staycation’ was much hyped last year, it seems the majority of Brits still prefer to jet abroad to sunnier climes. When asked where they will take their main 2010 holiday, 57% said they will go abroad, versus 43% who will stay at home. The number intending to actually stay at home or with family and friends also decreased from 21% in 2009 to 17% in 2010.

For Easter 2010, shopping, beach-breaks and fun in sun were the order of the day for a post winter pick-me-up, with Nice, Orlando, Manhattan, Barcelona and Tenerife among the top 10. And summer sees strong demand for established holiday hotspots. The Costa del Sol, Balearics and the Cote d’Azur region reign, while Tuscany is back in the top 10 too after Kalkan in Turkey outperformed it last year.

For the Easter & summer Top 10 and the fastest-growing countries this year, see page 7 of the full report


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About 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 over 200,000 independent guest reviews and OwnersDirect.co.uk offers owner profiles for increased peace of mind.

About HomeAway, Inc.
HomeAway is the world leader of the online holiday rentals market, representing over 480,000 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 and Brazil.