In the old days, only the wealthy could afford to rent a home for their holiday, but today, anybody can enjoy a more private getaway by booking through a vacation rental marketplace. Expedia has seen the light and is the latest brand to join the sharing economy by purchasing HomeAway, a listing site for home vacation rentals. Sean Mccracken of Hotel News Now talks about what this merger means for their next chapter of growth.
Expedia CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, explains how the deal has not been signed yet but is expected to close at $3.9 billion dollars in the form of cash and stocks, with two-thirds of the deal coming in stocks. The jump comes after her team has seen the incredible growth of the sharing economy and the potential to expand the reach of alternative housing.
“Last year, according to Phocuswright, one in four U.S. travelers went to private accommodations for leisure travel.”
Globally, the company has an estimated value of $14 to $16 billion dollars in vacation rental bookings. It operates in the U.S. and abroad and also has BedandBreakfast.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com. The companies have already been partners for the last two years, ever since Expedia invited HomeAway to list properties with them. Khosrowshahi explains how this coupling benefits both parties:
“HomeAway offers two kinds of key supply growth for Expedia: vacation rentals and whole-home rentals. Expedia plans to share existing inventory with HomeAway to help boost its presence in urban markets, and officials believe the size and clout of the larger organization will help HomeAway quickly gain more offerings of that kind.”
The company is not setting up to compete directly with Airbnb as it is positioning itself more in the secondary home or homestay niche, but there are similarities. Whatever its position, this new partnership is sure to put HomeAway listings on many people’s maps.
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