Royal honeymoon bonanza & a return to traditional summer destinations’s First Half 2011 report reveals London & Seychelles amongst most popular destinations & returning demand for European beach breaks

Report highlights

2011 sees a return to established favourite destinations in France, Spain and Portugal.
Seychelles tops the charts for booking enquiries following the Royal honeymoon.
Ongoing strong demand for long-haul destinations suggests Brits willing to spend more on their main summer holiday.
Germany emerges as the best performing market in terms of growth in holiday rental listings.

Data from, the UK’s number one holiday rentals website, reveals a return to established beach destinations in 2011 following the rise of the cheaper ‘MET’ destinations in 2010 as travellers looked to cut their holiday costs. The combined increase in enquiries to the Cote d’Azur, Costa del Sol and the Algarve was 56% year on year, compared to just 10% for Morocco, Egypt and Turkey, contrary to last year.

The most popular types of holidays in the first half 2011 were beach breaks, according to a traveller study conducted by in July. The survey, which asked holidaymakers about their plans for the first half of 2011, showed that by the end of June, 38% had booked a beach holiday, 21% had chosen a rural retreat and 12% had opted for a city break. 

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

London and Seychelles top the charts

London was the third most popular destination for holidays in the first half 2011 with a year-on-year increase of 35% in total number of enquiries. The Royal Wedding in April seemed to have a particularly strong impact, as enquiries on for London holidays that month were up 73% year on year.

However, London was not the only destination to reap the benefits of the Royal event. In terms of growth in booking enquiries, the Seychelles, the couple’s choice for their honeymoon, also topped the charts in the first half of 2011 on, with a huge +229% increase in number of booking enquiries compared to the same period in 2010.

For further details, read the full report pages 3 & 5

Long-haul destinations on the rise

A number of exotic, long-haul destinations, including Trinidad & Tobago, Kenya and Sri Lanka, were included in the Top 10 emerging markets in terms of growth in booking enquiries during the first half 2011 on These findings mirror the results of an omnibus survey conducted by the company with TNS Sofres in February, which showed 15% of Brits intended to take their main holiday in a long-haul destination. What’s more, figures published by the Office for National Statistics in July also showed an upward trend towards non-European destinations.

For further details, read the full report pages 4 & 5

Germany, best performing property market

In contrast to many other markets around the world, Germany suffered only a small decline in property prices at the end of 2008. The country is seen as a safe haven for investors, who are now increasingly seeking safety rather than risk. On Germany was the best performing market in terms of growth in holiday rental listings in the first half 2011, with a 51% increase year on year.

Ireland's property market also experienced improvement in 2011, with a 24% year-on-year increase in listing growth on Due to increased transport costs it looks like British property buyers are becoming more and more interested in owning homes closer to the UK.

For further details, read the full report pages 6 & 7

And finally, some of the stranger requests owners on have had so far this year:

1.    Where can we keep our donkey at night?
2.    Could you please send a picture of the toaster?
3.    Am I likely to get eaten by an alligator? (for a property in Florida)
4.    Is there any way to stop the church bells from ringing at 7am?
5.    Can you guarantee the pool heat at a constant 88 degrees and if not can we get a discount for every degree under?

To view the Top 10 list, go to the full report page 7



About HomeAway UK

HomeAway UK operates the two market-leading websites ( and Owners Direct (, founded respectively in 1996 and 1997. is the UK’s number one holiday rentals website, listing over 250,000 self-catering properties worldwide. offers independent guest reviews and offers owner profiles for increased peace of mind.

About HomeAway, Inc.

HomeAway is the world leader of the online holiday rentals market, representing over 625,000 property listings across more than 145 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 holidaymakers to find the perfect holiday rental.  HomeAway operates sites in 11 European countries and the market-leading sites in the USA and Brazil.