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AUSTIN, Texas (Profitable.com) While vacation rentals have long been popular among families and groups traveling together, HomeAway®, Inc. — the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace — finds in its latest “HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report” the appeal of vacation rentals to business travelers also continues to grow in popularity.
According to HomeAway’s sixth quarterly report, 10 percent of travelers say they have stayed in a vacation rental for a business trip and 42 percent say they would consider a vacation rental while traveling for business. Respondents say they prefer a vacation rental over a hotel for a business trip for the following reasons:
- Access to amenities, such as a kitchen and laundry room (69 percent)
- More cost-effective (58 percent)
- Provides a more home-like experience (49 percent)
- More space (44 percent)
- Has more bedrooms for coworkers or family (35 percent)
- Ideal for extended stays (32 percent)
- Provides more privacy (25 percent)
- Ideal for entertaining clients (10 percent)
“For business travelers looking to cut costs, particularly for extended stays, vacation rentals provide real value,” says Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway. “Those traveling on business can avoid pricey hotel restaurants and mini-bars by dining in their own home away from home, and they have more space to work or relax – something that’s not easily done in a cramped hotel room.”
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, when given the choice of renting an entire vacation home, apartment or condo, or staying in a private or shared room, 98 percent of travelers say they prefer to rent an entire home. Less than 2 percent prefer renting a private room in a home and less than 1 percent prefer a shared-room experience.
Private rooms typically consist of a private bedroom in a home in which the owner or landlord is on site, and a shared room typically is a sofa bed or a similar sleeping arrangement in a shared common living area of a home.
“Based on the vacation rental report’s quarterly findings, it’s clear travelers put a premium on privacy and security when traveling,” says Sharples.
Dreaming of a Vacation Home of Their Own
When asked if they have considered buying a vacation home, about one in five (20 percent) travelers say they have dreamed of owning a vacation home.
“While many people dream of buying a beach home or mountain cabin one day, most don’t realize that it’s more affordable than they think,” says Tom Kelly, real estate expert and author of “How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment.” “By buying the home and then renting it to travelers, second home owners can generate rental income that can help offset the mortgage and other home costs.”
The HomeAway report found nearly one-third (31 percent) of vacation rental owners have generated more revenue this year compared with the same period last year, and approximately 40 percent of owners reported generating about the same amount of income from their properties as they did last year.
More Second Home Owners Getting In on the (Rental Revenue) Action
In the past three HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Reports, Sunset Beach, N.C., has ranked as the market with the largest increase in new vacation rental listings. Sandpoint, Idaho; Lancaster, Pa.; Lexington, Ky.; and Atlanta were among the cities making the list for the first time since reporting began.
In some instances, people are buying a vacation home before they’ve even bought a primary residence. The report found about 14 percent of second home owners purchased their vacation home before buying their primary residence.
Many new vacation rental owners are finding it fruitful to rent out properties during special events and/or festivals. In fact, 61 percent of those surveyed say they have or would rent their vacation homes out for a sporting event or festival – be it the Super Bowl or a local wine festival.
In terms of the fastest-growing destinations among travelers, vacation rental owners in New Orleans continue to see increases in inquiries from people looking to visit the Big Easy, despite the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, New Orleans has ranked in the top three markets with the largest year-over-year percent increase in traveler interest for the past four quarters.
In the most recent report for the second quarter of 2010, the following destinations had the largest year-over-year percent increase in traveler interest:
- New Orleans (up 160%)
- West Hollywood, Calif. (up 151%)
- Santa Monica, Calif. (up 139%)
- Chicago (up 131%)
- Hot Springs, Ark. (up 129%)
- Lancaster, Pa. (up 122%)
- Snowshoe Mountain, W. Va. (up 112%)
- Phoenicia, N.Y. (up 109%)
- New York City (up 104%)
- Beverly Hills, Calif. (up 95%)
About the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report
Data for the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report was collected via surveys that poll travelers and homeowners on vacation rental-related issues. Based on HomeAway, Inc. internal customer satisfaction research, traveler results are based on 813 responses collected between September 14 and September 20, 2010. Owner results are based on 264 responses received between Aug. 17 and Sept. 1, 2010. Market trends were based on a combination of in-depth research of supplier and consumer markets from the HomeAway, Inc. database.
About HomeAway, Inc.
HomeAway, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals, representing more than 540,000 paid vacation rental home listings throughout 120 countries. HomeAway offers an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es in Spain; and AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil.
In addition, HomeAway operates BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit www.HomeAway.com.