HomeAway laid down the law to vacation rental owners in the United States: When they renew their subscriptions, their properties must be online bookable.
Some of HomeAway’s foreign-based sites, such as Stayz in Australia, already require properties to be online bookable, and HomeAway is considering, but isn’t yet mandating, that all properties outside the United States likewise be online bookable instead of enabling offline bookings involving guests and hosts.
HomeAway’s decision to move toward online booking makes its model more similar than it was previously to rival Booking.com’s way of doing business — but there still is a big difference. Booking.com’s more than 625,000 vacation rentals are all online bookable with an immediate confirmation, while hosts using HomeAway’s sites, including VRBO in the United States, Arbitel in France, and FeWo-direkt in Germany, have the option of making their online bookable listings instant bookings or with a window of up to 24 hours to vet the guests and answer questions.
Of the two million places to stay on HomeAway sites, about half, or one million, are currently online and instantly bookable with immediate confirmations, says spokesperson Jordan Hoefar.
When Expedia acquired HomeAway in 2015, there was the question of whether the parent company would […]