March 20, 2009

Vacation rentals anticipate big year

The business of renting accommodations for vacations is entering a robust season, compliments of a slow U.S. economy, travel researchers said.

It's a whole new ballgame, said Douglas Quinby at PhoCusWright, which issued a report on U.S. vacationers who plan to skip hotels and rent a place to stay, instead.

The vacation rental business is a $25 billion-a-year market that is thriving under current economic conditions, USA Today reported Friday.

More homeowners are putting their second homes up for rent this year to offset losses in incomes or on the stock market. Consequently, rental prices are down, the report said.

As the economy heads south, vacation rentals are more recession-proof than hotels because you get a much better value, said Baer Tierkel at Otalo, a search engine that uses Google for vacation rentals, as a slogan.

Vacationers who rent through a company can also find discounts or other incentives. A company in Orlando, Fla., for example, is tossing in tickets to Walt Disney World for longer leases, the newspaper said.