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Expedia and Vrbo: Global Short-Term Rental Platforms

Updated: Nov 28, 2023



One of the first questions that comes to a property owner’s mind when converting to short-term rentals is where their property should be listed online. Although Airbnb is one of the largest and most popular online travel platforms in the world, travellers and property owners might be surprised to learn it was not the first and that there are many other leading rental platforms that dominate the online travel market.


The Expedia Group is a multi-billion dollar travel conglomerate, consisting of numerous travel metasearch engines and travel fare aggregators. Their brands include Vrbo, Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire.com, Ebookers, CheapTickets, CarRentals.com, Expedia Cruises, Trivago, and Wotif.


In particular, both Vrbo and Expedia.com operate a large travel platform consisting of millions of short-term rentals across the globe. The Trivago website also crawls a wide range of both long and short-term rental websites alongside hotel operators. For owners wanting to maximise their rental returns in the short-stay market, it is essential to list your properties on more than just Airbnb. Expedia and their influential group brands are the perfect place to do this.


Vrbo - the first short-term rental platform

Vrbo was the first online travel platform curated for the short-term rental market, launching in 1995. As it stands, the website currently hosts more than 2 million bookable holiday rentals with properties listed across 190 countries. The rental platform’s categories span everything from suburban houses and condos to studios and apartments, cabins and cottages, villas and bungalows, lodges and chalets, farmhouses and barns, guest houses and caravans, and bed and breakfast accommodations.


According to James Rock, The Stay Hub’s Senior Account Manager for the Expedia Group, out of every ten Vrbo bookings, seven are booked for groups of three or more people, with smaller groups having a consistently higher length of stay. If you’re looking to succeed in the short-term rental market, buying a property with more than one bedroom can be a lucrative investment because it meets the market demand for group travel and offers more space and privacy. A two to three-bedroom property is ideal when travelling with kids, other couples, or close groups of friends or family. These also drive higher average daily rates and are particularly popular in Auckland’s city fringe suburbs and around the wider region.


Expedia

Expedia.com, the brand’s largest tourism platform, is also home to a vast range of short-term rental categories. As reported by Apptopia in their most recent online travel research, Expedia.com holds the third highest global market share for online travel agents, taking in 10.58% of the market. Vrbo was close behind with a global market share of 5.96% and Trivago recorded a share of 4.12%.


The Expedia Group currently has over 200 websites across 70 countries. 2023 Expedia data has listed their monthly online traffic at more than 110 million unique users. According to Statista, their annual revenue clocked over $8.6 billion USD in 2021 and rose to a further $11.67 billion USD in 2022. The group’s email database eclipses 68 million subscribers and their social media following has hit over 7 million people.


If you own a short-term rental, Expedia.com and Vrbo are two platforms you won't want to miss out on. When you partner with The Stay Hub, we ensure your property is listed across every major travel platform.


Expedia's 2023 Travellers Index

Each year, the Expedia Group conducts their annual Travellers Index. For the first time since its inception, the 2023 index provides input from both travellers and industry professionals. The research explores insights into what is a passing trend in the travel industry and which trends are here to stay. 11,000 consumers and 1,100 industry professionals took part in the report, spanning 11 major markets across Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Key Takeaways

A major concern for travellers since the outbreak of Covid-19 has been health and cleanliness when travelling. It’s no secret that hotels often come with a crowded environment and shared facilities for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This has been a catalyst in driving demand for short-term rentals, which provide more intimate and private accommodation options for travellers.


When booking travel, 35% of travellers still prioritise minimising Covid-19 exposure, while 51% list cleanliness and safety as a top priority in their travel plans for the next year. While the number of reviews that mention cleanliness has dropped from previous years, it still remains at the forefront of people's minds. Despite the rise of vaccines and diminishing cases, more than three-quarters of travel industry professionals still hold concerns for their health and safety when they are working.


What is impacting consumers’ travel plans?


Consumers say:


  1. Inflation

  2. Ongoing health and safety concerns due to the pandemic

  3. Travel restrictions

  4. Political instability


Industry professionals say:


  1. Ongoing health and safety concerns due to the pandemic

  2. Travel restrictions

  3. Inflation

  4. Political instability


Further to this, while 37% of travellers list the lowest price as being their number one preference for travel, 57% believe the experience is worth the cost. 46% also report that travel is now more important to them than it was prior to the pandemic. 2023 ushered in the end of Covid-19 restrictions across the globe and we have already seen a sharp increase in travel demand. Expedia’s insights highlight the demand for short-term rentals as we return to normalcy and both domestic and international travel continue to rise.


The key factors in making travel decisions across the 11 markets are:


49% | Physical and mental health benefits

49% | Change of scenery

46% | Making up for lost time


Auckland was recently declared the next big wellness destination by Marie Clare Australia. Not only does the city have a bounty of options for health and wellness, but the region offers a plethora of nature-based activities for travellers, from beach and seaside getaways to the likes of the Waitakere Ranges.


With summer fast approaching, now has never been a better time to ensure your property is listed across Expedia.com, Vrbo, and other major rental platforms. The Stay Hub can set you up for success from the get-go and ensure you capitalise on the financial gains of peak short-term rental season.


Book a free appraisal on our website to learn what you could earn in the market.


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