Holiday home rentals will continue to grow in popularity in the coming year, according to HomeAway UK, the market leader of the holiday rentals industry. In its “HomeAway Holiday-Rentals Marketplace Report”, released today, the company reveals that 89 percent of travellers surveyed plan to stay in a rental in 2010, a significant increase from the 62 percent who said they had stayed, or plan on staying in a rental in 2009.
Of those travellers who stayed or will stay in a rental in 2009, 81 percent had previously stayed in a holiday home and 19 percent will be first-time renters.
“The fact that our report reveals a high level of both repeat and first-time use of rentals demonstrates the strong traveller satisfaction and growth levels within this industry,” comments Courtney Wylie, General Manager for HomeAway Holiday-Rentals. “Traffic to our two UK sites, www.HomeAway.co.uk and sister site www.OwnersDirect.co.uk, was 13 percent greater in July 2009 v. January 2009, compared to a decrease of 2 percent across travel sites in general. We expect this trend to continue even as the economy improves, as there has been a significant shift towards travellers seeking better value for their holiday pounds.”
Travellers drive a hard bargain, but still want to get away
Almost 40 percent of owners surveyed reported that their level of bookings in the third quarter of 2009 was around the same as last year and 28 percent reported a higher level of bookings. In addition, out of those whose properties were available for rental, 44 percent said they were booked up for October 09 half-term, 26 percent for Christmas 09, 29 percent for New Years and over 1 in 5 reported already being booked for the summer 2010 school holidays.
However, it seems travellers this year were driving a harder deal and also waiting until the last moment to get away in the hope of securing the best price. Of those owners questioned, 36 percent said they had noticed more people haggling for a discount and over a quarter said more travellers were booking last-minute.
Of those travellers questioned, only one percent of respondents stated they will be unable to take a holiday in 2010 due to the economy, a decrease from the five percent who said they were affected in 2009.
The rise of the summer staycation
As predicted, many British travellers opted for a ‘staycation’ this summer as on www.HomeAway.co.uk the UK jumped from seventh to fifth most popular country, overtaking the Canary Islands and Portugal, with booking enquiries up 90 percent year-on-year.
The top 10 summer destinations in the UK
4. Lake District
7. Edinburgh & Lothians
8. Scottish Highlands & Islands
9. Derbyshire (Peak District)
10. Isle of Wight
Wylie comments, “City centre rentals in London, as well as apartments and cottages in Devon, Cornwall and the Lakes have always performed exceptionally well on our website, but there is definitely a marked increase in interest in the UK in general this year.”
What’s hot, what’s not in Q3 2009?
The credit crunch, it seems, has not dampened Brits’ appetites for a variety of year-round breaks, with strong demand on www.HomeAway.co.uk for September city breaks, New York shopping trips, winter sun in the Canaries and top ski spots. As soon as summer was over, attention turned to September and October breaks, ski holidays, Christmas getaways and even next year’s summer holiday, with one in five enquiries being for July and August 2010.
The two big winners were Cape Town and Turkey. In Q3, Cape Town was the number one destination being enquired about for holidays in June 2010, as people rush to secure accommodation for the FIFA World Cup. Turkey also performed extremely well, being a favourite not only for 2009 summer holidays, but for 2010 breaks too. The Olu Deniz and Kalkan areas were respectively the 8th and 9th most popular destinations being enquired about for August 2010.
Not so hot though was Dubai. This year, growth in both property listings and traveller demand for Dubai has been static. With the property market in turmoil – recent reports predict a further crash of up to 30 percent as we go to press – and its image as an expensive, luxury destination for travellers, the holiday rental market in Dubai has had a hard time this year.