Vacation Rentals are a Big Travel Trend for 2010

Jan 14, 2010, 12:17 ET from Caribbean Way - Luxury Retreats

MONTREAL, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ - Villa vacations were a hot trend for 2009, despite the sluggish economy, and promise to continue in 2010, according to Luxury Retreats, one of the world's leading specialists in luxury villas (http://www.luxuryretreats.com).

The rise in popularity of private villas, one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry, was evident in the company's figures throughout 2009, and especially the last quarter, where requests for Luxury Retreats' villa rentals increased by 14% over 2008. There was a revenue boost of 50% during the same period.

"Travelers are really starting to understand what villa rentals can offer in terms of value, especially for families and groups," said Jon Chiniborch, Luxury Retreats' Sales Manager, "and it doesn't seem to be slowing down so far this year. We've always said that once you rent a villa, you'll never want to vacation any other way!"

A few interesting facts and figures about villa rental trends in 2009 and forecasts for 2010:

Destinations

    - Luxury Retreats' most popular villa rental destinations in 2009 were
      Hawaii, Mexico, St. Martin, Italy and Barbados.
    - Villa regions with the biggest increase in popularity last year over
      previous years were the Bahamas (+79%), France (+41%), the USA (+24%)
      and the Turks and Caicos (+14%).
    - Mexico villa rentals, hard hit by the swine flu scare, made a comeback
      in the last quarter of 2009, growing in requests by 20%.
    - The top destinations for 2010, according to Luxury Retreats experts,
      will be Whistler and Deer Valley for ski; Anguilla; Bahamas and the
      Turks and Caicos for ease of access; Provence and Obama's favorite,
      Hawaii.

Travel Behaviors

    - Booking windows have lengthened again after a period of contraction,
      with the time between requests and travel a reflection of confidence in
      the economy.
    - The interest for promotions that began in 2009 should last through at
      least part of 2010, as villa owners in many destinations continue to
      offer special rates.
    - Travel insurance is of growing interest, to prevent risks associated
      with the economy and unforeseen events such as the swine flu outbreak.

Villas

The most popular individual villas from 2009 and frontrunners to book fast in 2010:

    - Villa Picon, a 3 bedroom on the beach in Mexico, from USD$375/nt.
    - Villa Lynda, a 4 bedroom on the beach in the Turks and Caicos, from
      USD$1228/nt.
    - Pineapple Pavilion, a 4 bedroom in Maui, from USD$995/nt.
    - Casa D, a 6 bedroom in St. Tropez, from USD$1348/nt.
    - Hacienda Las Palmas, a 6 bedroom in Palm Springs, from USD$1350/nt.

Top 5 Reasons for Booking

Luxury Retreats' team of over 30 villa specialists compiled the top five arguments heard from guests in the past year as to why luxury vacation rentals were the right choice for them:

Value

When compared to hotels or resorts, luxury villas can be even less expensive per room, providing a great value for a group. Plus all the amenities are yours alone.

Service

Many luxury vacation rentals come with their own chef, housekeeper, even butler. Before they travel, guests also receive a complimentary concierge to tailor additional services or activities.

Privacy

Forget sharing the pool or the dining area with strangers; villas are designed for maximum relaxation. Even the staff has been trained to be as unobstrusive as possible.

Space

Many villas offer 5000+ sq. ft, while luxury hotel rooms generally top out at 500 sq. ft. It is a great option for large families to be together.

Flexibility

Travel any time, anywhere without the restrictions imposed by a destination club or timeshare.

Luxury Retreats is the world's largest full-service luxury vacation rentals specialist, offering over 1,500 elite properties from $400 to $13,000 per night in over 70 worldwide destinations. Founded in 1999, the company has grown into a respected leader in the industry, with over 40 employees in its Montreal headquarters and satellite offices in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Europe.

SOURCE Caribbean Way - Luxury Retreats