European Vacation Rental Marketplace: 2011-2013

European Vacation Rental Marketplace: 2011-2013 Published October 2011 Analysts: Douglas Quinby, Linda Fox


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Complex, fragmented, large and dynamic, Europe's vacation rental market is weathering the economic storm well. This lodging segment has strong awareness among European travelers, and a high purchase incidence across many countries. But the market is also dizzyingly complex, characterized by a convoluted landscape of disparate suppliers and intermediaries, with significant variations from one county to the next.

Watch the Video
Phocuswright's senior director, research, Douglas Quinby, on Europe's changing vacation rental landscape:

Phocuswright's European Vacation Rental Marketplace: 2011-2013 provides an in-depth look at the vacation rental market across seven key countries in Europe: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. Drawing on a combination of multi-market consumer and homeowner surveys, in-depth interviews and a sweeping review of government and other third-party data, this report presents a comprehensive view of the current vacation rental landscape in Europe and identifies key trends that will continue to shape this dynamic category.

Phocuswright's European Vacation Rental Marketplace: 2011-2013 includes:

  • Market sizing by vacation rental revenue and inventory supply for all of Europe, and rental revenue by country and property type

  • Impact of the economic developments in Europe on the marketplace, with total European market and online market figures from 2008 and projections through 2013

  • Market size and trends by booking channel (total market and online penetration) with projections through 2013

  • Market share by country for vacation rental management companies (VRMCs) and rental by owner (RBO)

  • Key operational metrics such as average daily rate, occupancy and length-of-stay

  • Detailed analysis of vacation rental distribution, including:
    • VRMCs

    • RBO model and listing websites

    • Traditional travel agencies, tour operators and the role of offline channels

  • Consumer behavior: examination of European vacation rental guests (VRGs) by country, with a focus on preferred destinations, vacation styles, shopping and booking behavior, drivers and inhibitors to vacation rental consideration and booking, satisfaction levels and more

  • Vacation rental homeowner profiles, including number and types of properties owned, and attitudes toward property marketing and competing management methods (VRMC vs. RBO)

  • Discussion of significant and evolving trends that influence the European vacation rental marketplace – technology innovations, the emerging role of social media, the importance of online booking and other features

While vacation rentals in Europe are already a mainstream product category, the market continues to mature dramatically in terms of its distribution dynamics, online penetration and revenue generated. Phocuswright's European Vacation Rental Marketplace: 2011-2013 provides the information and analysis to understand this increasingly significant component of the European travel market.

What is a Vacation Rental?
Convoluted Distribution
Fragmented, but Big
Key Findings
Terms and Definitions

Size of the Market
Rental Revenue and Population
Property Types
Channel: VRMC, RBO and the Online Market

The European Vacation Rental Guest
Population Profile
Destinations and Vacation Style
Impediments to Vacation Rental Consideration and Booking
Drivers for Vacation Rental Booking
Guest Satisfaction and Loyalty

Booking Method: VRMCs and RBO
Shopping and Booking Channels: Online and Offline
Online Influence and the Role of Social
Offline Distribution

Vacation Rental Homeowners
Homeowner Profile
Marketing: VRMC and RBO


Lodging and Vacation Rental Category Overlap: Included and Excluded Lodging Types

European Vacation Rental Distribution Chain

Vacation Rental Booking Incidence for French, German and U.K. Travelers, 2010-2011

European Travel Market by Segment, 2010

European Vacation Rental Revenue by Country, 2010

European Vacation Rental Guest Population by Country, 2010

Share of Vacation Rental Trips by Property Type for Six Demand Markets

Share of VR Trips and Spend by Property Type, Europe

Total, VRMC and Online Vacation Rental Revenue and Penetration, Europe, 2010

Total and Online Vacation Rental Revenue and Forecasts, Europe, 2008-2013

Destination of Last Vacation Rental Stay

Reasons Travelers Do Not Book Vacation Rentals

Reasons for Choosing Vacation Rentals over Hotels

Guest Satisfaction with Overall Experience of Last Vacation Rental Stay

Vacation Rental Trips and Spend by Booking Method, 2010

Share of Rental Revenue by Booking Method per Country, 2010

Types of European Vacation Rental Distributors

Vacation Rental Revenue, Online Revenue and Penetration by Country, 2010

Influential Online Features for Vacation Rental Property Selection

Airbnb's Social Connections

Method of Managing Property Marketing, by Country

Homeowner Reasons for Using a VRMC

Percentage of Rental Bookings to RBOs by Marketing Method

Vacation Rental Property Occupancy by Season and Management Method (RBO, VRMC)

Cost of Distribution: Hypothetical Average Comparison of Annual Homeowner Income via VRMC vs. Listing Sites

This study incorporated four major research components:

  1. Consumer survey: Phocuswright conducted a projectable online survey of 500 qualifying VRGs per country across Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. This effort was fielded as a 35-question online survey to adults, aged 22+ who had taken at least one holiday in the past two years that included a vacation rental. Respondents had to have taken a holiday in paid accommodation at least 100 kilometers from home, be actively involved in holiday planning and have stayed in a vacation rental. The survey also presented an exit question to a sub-section of qualifying travelers who had not taken a vacation rental in the past two years. The objective of the exit question was to examine why these travelers had not stayed in a vacation rental. Respondents were sourced from independent panel firm Global Market Insite.

  2. Homeowner survey: Phocuswright conducted an online survey of homeowners – 200 per country in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. This exercize consisted of a 32-question survey to adults who own at least one property that they rent out to people who are traveling for leisure. Respondents were sourced from the independent panel firm Global Market Insite as well as from study partners. Phocuswright weighted the partner results to reflect the total population of vacation rental homeowners by management type from the independent panel (whether the homeowner uses a vacation rental management company or self-manages the marketing and booking of their property).

  3. In-depth executive interviews: Phocuswright conducted more than 30 in-depth executive interviews with vacation rental management companies, listing sites, vacation rental portals, and distribution players including GDS (global distribution system) companies, online travel agencies and tour operators.

  4. Third-party data review: Phocuswright conducted an extensive review of relevant data including government statistics, company reports and third-party research.

Phocuswright developed market sizing (population, rental revenue, number of trips and guests) by building projections from consumer surveys against population data from Eurostat. For Internet penetration, Phocuswright has used Eurostat 2010 incidence of adults (aged 16-74) who used the Internet at least weekly during the last three months of 2010. Projections have been cross-checked against – and occasionally adjusted to reflect – results from the study homeowner survey, interview results, and (where available) third-party data sources. The surveys were conducted online. Because of lower Internet penetration among the adult populations in Spain and Italy, the results for those markets may be more reflective of a smaller group of online vacation rental guests and homeowners, and may not be as representative of the total vacation rental guest and homeowner populations.

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