Holiday homes website launches

HomeAway.com is launching to enable travellers to find vacation homes online, signaling the next evolution of online travel.
HomeAway.com consolidates five industry sites into the new and HomeAway marketplace.

“HomeAway fuses the historically fragmented vacation rental industry,” says Brian Sharples, CEO and president of HomeAway, Inc. “Over the last two years, we acquired several leading vacation rental sites around the world and invested in the best technology to integrate all the properties into one site that attracts millions of travelers each year.”

The result is HomeAway.com, where travelers can finally visit one place to search more than 60,000 homes across 90 countries to find a barn, bungalow, cabin, castle, chalet, chateau, condo, cottage, house, houseboat, mansion, villa or yurt perfect for their vacation or special event.

HomeAway.com enhances the online travel experience with complete and organized information that includes photos, detailed property descriptions, pricing and booking information. In addition to searching for properties by location and the number of bedrooms, users may also search by activities such as “winter sports,” or “beach;” amenities including “swimming pool” or “Internet access,” and suitability, which sorts homes convenient for children, pets and the elderly.

“The recent boom in vacation home sales means the supply of and the interest in quality properties has never been greater,” says Sharples. “Many travelers, especially families and groups, are choosing vacation rental homes as a more attractive and affordable option to staying in a hotel.”

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According to a recent HomeAway survey, the top four reasons travelers choose a vacation home are privacy, amenities including fully-equipped kitchens, more space and price. Weekly rates on HomeAway.com range from $200 for a rustic cabin in North Carolina to $45,000 for a lavish estate in Jamaica.

HomeAway anticipates more than 100,000 properties listed on the site by the end of 2006.
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