In a big move to accommodate the growing interest of having an authentic travel experience, HomeAway and Kayak are partnering to make it easier to compare, plan and purchase a place to stay for vacation.
HomeAway and Kayak, two of the leading vacation sites in the world, announced a partnership June 1 that will enable travelers to compare prices and amenities of hotels alongside full-home rentals.
Kayak, an operating business of The Priceline Group, will host listings for nearly 200,000 properties through HomeAway by the end of the year in addition to the more than 700,000 hotels already displayed on the site.
“Whole-home rentals offer more space, privacy and value than hotels for families and groups, especially those planning a longer vacation,” said HomeAway CEO and co-founder Brian Sharples. “By listing vacation rentals, Kayak is helping grow awareness of the industry — today 65 percent of U.S. travelers don’t even consider renting a home for their next vacation.”
This announcement comes on the heels of HomeAway’s partnership with Flat4Day and its expansion to major cities. In September of last year, HomeAway also expanded with a similar partnership with Expedia, which brought more than 100,000 vacation rental properties to Expedia’s search engine. With positive feedback under their belt, HomeAway is taking strides toward building a better and more comprehensive experience for Expedia travelers.
“HomeAway’s mission has always been to make every vacation rental in the world available to every traveler in the world, and our partnership with Kayak is a significant step toward that mission,” Sharples said. “Given Kayak’s leadership in metasearch, they are a perfect partner for HomeAway.”
Similar to the deal with Expedia, HomeAway pay-per-booking listings that are enrolled in the company’s Expanded Distribution Network will be featured on Kayak’s website. For property owners and managers, there is a commission charge. As of September 2014, the structure was based on a 10 percent commission charge by Expedia and a 3 percent credit card merchant service fee from HomeAway Payments. It hasn’t been confirmed yet if the commission rate structure will be the same for bookings made through Kayak.
Shifting the entire way we vacation
HomeAway isn’t new; neither is the idea of owning or renting a vacation property. However, the strong desire for amenities, comfort and privacy on a vacation has been noted by the hotel industry, which has taken a hit as of recently due to this shift.
Hotel brands throughout the nation, such as Marriott and Montage, are taking initiative to revamp the hotel landscape with all-suite properties that feature upscale amenities like full kitchens, washers and dryers, and large entertainment centers. While some hotels like the Montage are charging at least $695 a night, others are offering accommodations at the same or similar rates to local vacation rentals.
“The competition is heating up, but we know that travelers love choice, and more accommodation choice is good for the whole industry. Families and groups really love staying in whole-home rentals — 84 percent say they are very likely to book a vacation rental again after doing so for the first time,” Sharples said. “So we want to reach as many travelers as possible, and our partnership with Kayak helps us do just that by exposing people to vacation rentals alongside hotels.”