HomeAway Orlando 2016 Day One Review
YourWelcome team attended the first day of the HomeAway summit in Orlando Florida. The event was packed with over 750 vacation rental owners from across America who attended to find out more about how HomeAway plan to increase booking and drive more traffic.
Here is a summary of what you missed.
First up was Bill Furlong, the VP / GM of HomeAway America who gave an overview of the market in general and some exciting new features for vacation owners who list on HomeAway and travelers who book through the portal. He stated that Vacation Rental, alongside short term lets in general had now become mainstream in the travel market as people now look beyond simply a hotel to stay in during their vacation. As HomeAway have now changed their subscription plans for listing rentals, we heard about the exciting marketing plans, investment and results that HomeAway had achieved in the last year. Expedia take $86 billion in gross bookings per year – a pretty impressive achievement.
Next up was Douglas Quinby, the keynote speaker who looked at some of the interesting emerging trends in the market, including some predictions of what was going to be huge in this market in the coming years. He touched on how millennial had changed the market both in what they want from a trip and the frequency they traveled. The most interesting take aways from this section that despite this group taking more trips than previous generations, their per year spend on traveling was lower than other generations. He then went on to summarise the 4 key trends that will emerge:
1/ Digitisation – this will be across property guides and also in-property experience, citing how Alice – have started to change how hotels react to customer in-room queries.
2/ Consumerization – this boiled down to instant access to choice and booking. Consumers can now book food, travel and tickets on demand in seconds and this will clearly impact the industry. The take away was that vacation rentals will need in the future to move to instant booking to cater for this emerging trend.
3/ Socialisation – People want to leave reviews and discuss their experience during a trip on social platforms. He cited that 50% of travellers have left a review of a holiday online in the last year.
4/ Mobilization – This is obvious but worth stating again. People are searching and booking their vacations on mobile so the industry needs to ensure this is catered for.
Interestingly, our very own tablet offers a digital property guide, (and video property guides) and the ability to sell on-demand services to your guest. Check it out here to see how it can benefit you and your guests.
There was a lot more interesting announcements from the HomeAway product team which we will be writing about in more detail in the coming days – stay tuned.
It was great connecting with you all and look forward to tomorrow.