Goodbye HomeAway, HELLO Vrbo!
Today, Expedia Group launches Vrbo? in the UK, continuing its worldwide consolidation of simplifying its alternative accommodation division under one global brand name. With the launch of Vrbo in the UK, the world’s travel platform extends the number of countries offering its unique holiday rental-portfolio under the same brand to 17.
“We are excited to introduce British families to Vrbo” said Jeff Hurst, President Vrbo brand. “With recent months being some of the most challenging for holidaymakers and holiday-homeowners alike, we remain fully committed to helping families all over the world to spend some urgently needed quality time together. The move to operate our global offering under one brand will help us to do exactly that; simplify and focus on what really matters which is providing British families with a safe and simple way to travel better together.”
25 years of bringing families together
Launched in 1995, Vrbo was the first holiday rental company to offer its portfolio to holidaymakers online. Since then, the company has evolved and now connects millions of families looking for their perfect place to stay every year. Founded in Aurora, Colorado, Vrbo’s mission is to connect holidaymakers to the people and places they love, giving them the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together.
Over the past few months in which the world was hit by a global pandemic, the way British families travel and choose their holiday homes has significantly changed. While cleanliness has always been an important factor when choosing a holiday home, the medical guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in an increase in demand by British Vrbo holidaymakers looking for properties rated highly for cleanliness by previous guests. Furthermore, there is a clear move towards staycations, with the vast majority of demand for holiday homes being in the UK this year.
The most popular domestic destinations for British Vrbo holidaymakers, May-August 2020:?
Whitby (North Yorkshire)
St Ives (Cornwall)
London (Greater London)
Bath (Bath and North East Somerset)
Filey (North Yorkshire)
New cleanliness guidelines and free cancellation filter
To accommodate new requirements, Vrbo worked with medical experts and local governments to update its existing guidelines. As an expert for family holidays in holiday homes, Vrbo introduced new tools to provide holidaymakers with even more transparency, allowing them to make an informed booking decision. Vrbo also implemented new cleanliness guidelines, including a search filter for cleanliness as well as a new cancellation filter.
“Holiday homes are the preferred accommodation choice for families wanting to go away again, after months of not being able to travel. And we are glad that we have the right measures and guidelines in place to provide them with a feeling of safety and security so that they can purely enjoy the change of scenery and the precious time together,” Hurst added.
Technological tools adapted to the needs of families
Vrbo has some fantastic features to help families plan their trips. One of the most remarkable tools is Trip Boards. To improve the way families can book a dream holiday home that the whole family likes, Trip Boards enable the holidaymaker who’s in charge of planning the trip to save all holiday homes they like on their personal Trip Board and invite all family members to the board. The rest of the family is then able to comment and vote for their favourite property(ies), making travel arrangements and choosing their next holiday home easier by involving the whole family at any time, from anywhere. Another feature available in Vrbo is the Virtual Assistant, which answers holidaymakers’ most frequently asked questions about a property and allows the holiday-homeowner to connect with the holidaymaker instantly.
New name, same experience
Vrbo maintains HomeAway’s goal of connecting holidaymakers with their perfect match holiday home and they will continue to book and pay securely online, benefiting from the Book with Confidence Guarantee (which covers them in the event of possible incidents related to their booking) and 24/7customer service. Both holidaymakers and holiday-homeowners will be able to access their accounts with their current credentials (same username and password), in the web version and in the mobile application (in the latter case, holidaymakers will first need to download the new Vrbo app available for iOS and Android).
Likewise, holiday-homeowners will be connected with holidaymakers from all over the world in the same trusted and simple way as before. Professional owners and managers have the necessary tools to manage their listing and have a high international visibility on all Expedia Group websites, which receive more than 750 million visits per month. They will still have control over their listing, access to tools to manage their bookings, statistics to manage their business in relation to other similar properties, secure channels to communicate with holidaymakers and the same team of experts at their disposal 24/7.
V for Vacation
Originally, Vrbo was short for “Vacation Rentals By Owners” and the most passionate Vrbo users only use the acronym, pronouncing it “Ver-boh”. Following some research, the explanatory part was skipped and today’s pronunciation of Vrbo was born. The logo represents travel and the diversity of both the holidaymakers travelling with Vrbo and the homeowners listing their properties on the online marketplace.
In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We were grounded in one purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together. Since then, we've grown into a global community of homeowners and holidaymakers, with unique properties around the world. Vrbo makes it easy and fun to book cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between.
Vrbo is part of Expedia Group and offers homeowners and property managers exposure to over 750 million visits to Expedia Group sites each month. To learn more, visit?www.serencollection.com.
? 2020 Vrbo, an Expedia Group company. All rights reserved. Vrbo, HomeAway, the Vrbo logo, and the HomeAway logo are trademarks of HomeAway.