After announcing a partnership late last year, Expedia and HomeAway have just launched a beta version of their combined vacation rental search.
The user experience is a little rough, explained Skift’s Dennis Schaal, saying that it “functions more like an advertising relationship would than a tightly integrated booking process.” He also notes, however, that these are only first steps; much will likely change as they gain information and feedback.
Travel Daily News || Vacation rentals even more popular with U.S. travelers in 2014
A recent survey by TripAdvisor found that 52 percent of American travelers plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014—up from 44 percent last year.
Where are they planning to go, what are they willing to spend, and what amenities are they looking for? Reporter Theodore Koumelis covers the survey’s highlights.
Vacation Rental Marketing Blog || 1 Simple (But Forgotten) Image You MUST Include In Your Gallery
Here’s an interesting question: How many of us include floorplans in our image gallery? Reflecting on a conversation he had recently, Matt Landau relates that his friend didn’t understand why vacation rental owners don’t include floorplans: “That would, at least, help me decide whether this random home would be a good fit for my family,” he said.
Earlier this month, we offered ideas on how to manage guest expectations with such unpredictable weather. The UK’s tourism authority, VisitEngland—an area that has also been battered by extreme weather—took it one step further and wrote an e-book.
While their advice is tailored to the UK, there is a lot of good information regardless of your location. For example, they offer advice through different stages of an extreme weather situation, suggesting things like working with other hospitality groups in your area and recognizing the power of the rumor mill, even if your particular area hasn’t been touched.
While not announcing anything particularly unique, Facebook’s Aoife Desmond recently reiterated a number of trends we’ve discussed on the MyVR blog, like the blurred lines between travel and leisure, the growth of mobile when it comes to researching and booking, and the importance of good visuals.
Another common thread is the draw of local experiences: “Guests don’t want to know the hotel has got a bed but what is local and what is the experience they are going to get.”
Has your property been included in the Expedia-HomeAway beta? Will you add a copy of your floorplan to your image gallery? Tell us what’s kept you busy this month in the comments section below.
Images: travel poster in the puiblic domain, photo by Karsun Designs Photography