HomeAway (VRBO.com Parent Company) Press Release


Vacation Rentals Growing in Popularity Among Travelers Looking for Better Value

New HomeAway Report Reveals Travelers Choosing Vacation Rentals for More Family Vacations, Weekend Getaways and Even Business Trips

Story Highlights:

· Travelers are considering vacation rentals for everything from weekend getaways (65 percent) to business trips (20 percent)
· 66 percent of vacation rental property owners have offered special deals this year
· One in five owners new to the vacation rental market cited economic conditions as the reason why they started renting out their vacation home

AUSTIN, TEXAS, May 21, 2009 – Vacation rental homes and condominiums are becoming even more attractive to consumers looking for greater value from their travel dollar, according to HomeAway – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – which today released the first edition of its new quarterly “HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report.”

According to the report, approximately 66 percent of vacation rental property owners are offering or have offered special deals or incentives at some point this year in response to the current economic climate.

· 27% discount rental rates by a specific dollar amount
· 24% offer a set percent off the normal rental rate
· 16% offer a free night with the purchase of a specific number of nights
· 15% offer free cleaning services
· 11% do not require a minimum stay
· 7% offer a complimentary product or service, such as tickets to a local attraction

While travelers may come across some unique deals this summer including pre-arrival grocery shopping services and complimentary meals or gift  askets upon arrival, 34 percent of  owners surveyed did not offer special deals or incentives. By way of explanation, one of those owners said, “I didn’t offer anything but a great house, in a great location, at a very reasonable price.”

“With or without deals or special offers, there is an underlying value to vacation rentals,” said Mike Butler, chief commercial officer of HomeAway.  Vacation rental homes enable you to rent a whole home for less than the cost of a hotel room and then even stretch your travel budget further by taking advantage of the full kitchens and extra amenities.”

Looking to a Vacation Home for Extra Income

While a vacation rental affords travelers many benefits, it can also provide a steady stream of revenue for the owners. In fact, Butler said more and  ore owners are renting out their properties to generate extra income. The HomeAway report found that the economy played an important role among owners who began to rent their vacation homes to travelers in the past 12 months.  One in five owners (21 percent) new to the vacation rental market  ited economic conditions, including the need to generate additional income, a recent job loss, the inability to sell the home or the risk of foreclosure,  as the reason why they started renting out their vacation home. In addition to citing economic conditions as a factor, many owners new to renting their vacation homes are entering the market to generate a profit.

“The research suggests that in the past, many second home owners entered the rental market with a desire to cover all their expenses, but now listing their properties to cover expenses is an economic necessity,” said Butler.

About HomeAway, Inc.

HomeAway is the worldwide leader of online vacation rentals, representing nearly 400,000 vacation rental home listings across more than 120 countries. The company has contributed significantly to the popularity of the vacation rental industry, making it easier than ever for both owners to advertise and profit from their second homes and for millions of travelers to find the perfect vacation rental. The HomeAway sites include HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, FeWodirekt. de, Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com.

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 Ashtead in England; Kassel, Germany; and Marseille and Paris, France.


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    • Despite the economy, HomeAway, VRBO, and all their sister sites have seen continued growth both in new listings as well as website traffic. Travelers are finding staying in vacation rentals an affordable alternative to hotels. This is a strong industry!


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