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2010 Travel Outlook

Rentals to rival hotels as Brits seek more for less

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 HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk. However, dwindling savings and spare cash mean the focus remains squarely on value for money and deals…

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 HomeAway.co.uk and 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.”

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.

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.

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