This January, HomeAway, Inc., world leader of the online holiday rentals sector, has seen its two UK sites; HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and Owners Direct leap in to the top 10 travel websites in the Hitwise ‘Destination and Accommodations’ category, joining well-established travel giants such as TripAdvisor and Travelodge*. In case there was any doubt, this provides indisputable evidence that online holiday rentals have hit the mainstream.
One of the most under-studied and underestimated sectors in online travel, due in most part to its historically fragmented nature, the holiday rentals sector has experienced exponential growth over the last decade and is now estimated at a $60 to $100 billion global business**.
Petra Friedmann, President of HomeAway Europe comments, "We’re delighted to be included in the Hitwise top 10. Our internal forecasts indicate our two UK sites, www.homeaway.co.uk and www.ownersdirect.co.uk have experienced record traffic and we expect almost 5 million visits by the end of January. Despite the struggling economy, demand for online holiday rentals is going from strength to strength as travellers realise they can find a whole home for less per head than a similar standard hotel and stretch their budget even further by taking advantage of self-catering facilities."
Both companies remain confident this growth will continue throughout the year, as forecasts indicate demand will stay strong. According to industry analyst Mintel, around one in five people currently stay in holiday homes and self-catering holidays are rising every year. In 2009, self-catering holidays were forecast to represent over 60% of all overseas holidays and Mintel expects the self catering market to continue to outstrip general holiday growth and exceed 34.3 million breaks by 2011***.
Throughout the world, HomeAway is kicking off ambitious marketing plans to communicate the benefit of rentals and strengthen the brand. In the US, the company will air its first ever national advertisement during the CBS television network broadcast of the Super Bowl on February 7, 2010. Locally, HomeAway.co.uk is targeting the social media as it sends two writers ‘around the world’ in holiday homes to chronicle their experiences via a blog and Twitter at www.grantourismotravels.com and http://twitter.com/gran_tourismo.
Sarah Chambers, PR Manager, HomeAway.co.uk
020 8846 3430 / 07739 033132 / firstname.lastname@example.org
* Source: www.Tnooz.com, ‘UK Travel Site Crunch’ following posts :
Week ending 9th Jan
Week ending 16th Jan
Week ending 23rd Jan
** Based on data from the PhoCusWright Report: the Vacation Rental Marketplace; Poised for Change (January 2009)
*** Source: Mintel Self Catering Holidays – UK, 2007 and 2009