LONDON, December 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
We've become a nation of travel-savvy holidaymakers who now like to independently fine-tune our holidays to just how we like them, according to the UK's number one holiday rentals website, HomeAway.co.uk.
Instead of leaving travel agents to do all the research, increasing numbers of holidaymakers are now packaging up holidays themselves, leading to phenomenal growth for sites like HomeAway.co.uk. Over the past years, the holiday rentals site has seen a steady increase in booking enquiries worldwide, particularly in the UK and Europe. The top three rising stars in terms of year-on-year growth in enquiries placed on HomeAway.co.uk in 2012 are: Germany (+71%), Holland (+44%) and Croatia (+24%).
The holiday rentals market in the UK is now valued at approximately £4.7bn, while Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) is valued at £20.7bn, according to a Radius Global Market Research. HomeAway.co.uk has been instrumental in the growth of the UK holiday rental market since it launched in 1996*.
"Holidaymakers have significantly decreased their dependency on the traditional travel agent for holiday bookings along with the no-research-required package holiday that they traditionally offer," confirms Andy Cockburn Regional Director of HomeAway UK. HomeAway.co.uk caters for this by cutting out the middle man as holiday seekers can reference independent guest reviews and book directly with the property owner via our site."
This change in holiday booking habits is confirmed by a recent survey by HomeAway.co.uk which found that a third of people prefer to "package" their holiday themselves. New World Travel Market 2012 research by Euromonitor refers to this change as an "online travel revolution", while a new 2012 survey by trend researchers nVision has revealed that only 30% of people trust a hotel to do business fairly.
NEW TRAVEL BUZZWORD FOR 2013: Personal Catering
The new breed of holidaymaker, categorised as the "authenticity seekers" by leading consumer trend forecasters Future Foundation, has led to a new emerging phenomenon in the direct rental market: Personal Catering. HomeAway.co.uk predicts that Personal Catering will become the travel buzzword for 2013 as people move away from the outdated image of self-catering, meaning basic accommodation.
Andy Cockburn HomeAway UK Regional Director, comments: "The desire for self-tailored holidays means holidaymakers seek properties that offer more luxurious hotel-style standards and bespoke services. This could be anything from a butler, private photographer or concierge to babysitting and housekeeping services. Today's holidaymaker is very discerning. There's much more focus on interior design within holiday properties, too, yet rental prices still remain competitive by comparison."
With over 320,000 holiday rentals worldwide, from cottages to castles, villas to yurts, HomeAway.co.uk makes it easier than ever for holidaymakers to switch from pricey package holidays to the more authentic holiday experience they are seeking from a holiday rental.
Specifically, in the last year there were a number of destinations high on the authenticity seekers' holiday radar. HomeAway.co.uk can reveal the emerging hotspots for 2013 include Holland, Montenegro and Sweden. The number of properties listed in these areas has risen significantly in 2012 to meet the demand in enquiries with the number of properties in Holland on HomeAway.co.uk increasing by 245% year-on-year, in Montenegro by 150% and in Sweden by 100%.
TOP EMERGING DESTINATIONS
(Based on year-on-year growth in number of new orders placed on HomeAway.co.uk between January and September 2012)
- Holland - The capital Amsterdam celebrates 400 years of the canal ring in 2013 and it can now be reached direct by fast train from London in four hours.
- Montenegro - A new direct UK flight launched in spring 2012.
- Sweden - With a government scheme investing $8.4 million to tourism over the next five years this is set to become ever more popular yet.
TOP 3 DESTINATIONS FOR 2013
(Based on number of enquiries placed on HomeAway.co.uk for holidays in 2013)
- Rhone-Alpes (top destination for holidays between January-March)
- Florida (top destination for holidays between April-June)
- Balearic Islands (top destination for holidays between July-September)
NOTES TO EDITORS
*The holiday rental specialist HomeAway.co.uk has been connecting homeowners with holidaymakers since 1996, when it was then known as Holiday-Rentals.co.uk. It rebranded in 2009 as HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and on 26th September 2012, the domain name changed from http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk to http://www.homeaway.co.uk.
 Radius Global Market Research "Market Sizing Study", November 2010.
 Results based on a nationally representative survey of 500 UK respondents using Toluna Quick Surveys, September 2012.
 Source reference: http://www.thelocal.se/41258/20120605/#.UL0vd5OLLu0, June 2012
Anca Popa, PR Assistant