Vacation Rental Industry 2019 Year in Review

January 14, 2020

Vacation Rental Industry News 2019

Here’s the most significant vacation rental industry news of the last year, from OTA and technology news to travel trends, popular conferences, mergers, acquisitions, and leadership shakeups.

January 2019

Check out PhocusWire’s published list of the Hot 25 Startups of 2019!

Jan 1, 2019

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Michelle Marquis joins Lexicon Travel as its Chief Revenue Officer

Jan 5, 2019

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USA Today published Travelers opinion piece on cleaning fees

Jan 5, 2019

USA Today published a Travelers opinion piece on cleaning fees on vacation rentals. It’s a great read to hear the guest’s point of view and perspective.

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CaliStays.com introduced as new regional listing site

Jan 7, 2019

CaliStays.com was introduced as a new regional listing site, which promotes direct bookings for properties as well as direct communication between managers and guests. NO traveler fees either!

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Florida Huddle hosted in Daytona Beach

Jan 8 - 10, 2019

Florida Huddle, the official travel trade show for Florida, was hosted in Daytona Beach 1/8-1/10. This appointment-based trade show that showcased all the state has to offer for international and tour operators and wholesalers.

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New Orleans City Council Advances Vacation Rental Ban

Jan 10, 2019

New Orleans city council advances their ban on short term vacation rentals. A unanimous vote restricts short term rentals outside of commercial zones to owner-occupied properties.

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BookingPal Expands Management Team with Two Senior Executives

Jan 15, 2019

BookingPal expands its management team with 2 new senior executives; Joel Schoen and Yohannes Semere.

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TripAdvisor launches Sponsored Placements for Experiences

Jan 15, 2019

TripAdvisor launches Sponsored Placements for Experiences. With their new Sponsored Placements, Bokun suppliers can merchandise their products for free on TripAdvisor’s site. The goal being to increase their direct bookings for experiences.

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February 2019

#BookDirect

Feb 6, 2019

With a multitude of new travelers searching for vacation rentals, vacation rental managers and homeowners joined forces for one day with a singular message to let travelers know that there are many advantages to bypassing third-party channels and booking directly with management companies and homeowners

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Pedro Mandoki Passed Away

Feb 6, 2019

As many of you are hearing, vacation rental industry veteran and--some might say--founding father, Pedro Mandoki, passed away. Pedro served our industry as president of Mandoki Hospitality/Gulf Shores Plantation, Vacation Rental Management Association president, American Hotel & Lodging Association chairman, former hashtag#ResortQuest board member, founding chairman of the AGCCVB, and so much more, And he will be greatly and sorely missed.

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Women's Summit

Feb 19, 2019

The inaugural Vacation Rental Women's Summit was hosted February 19th & 20th in New Orleans, LA.

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Ascent Processing Inc. Launches Vacation Loan Product: ASCENTpay powered by Uplift

Feb 19, 2019

A cost-effective financing product specifically tailored for the short-term vacation rental market.

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Barefoot User Conference

Feb 21, 2019

Xplorie sincerely enjoyed having the opportunity to learn about our unique, thriving industry from all the educational, informative sessions and panels presented at the conference!

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CiiRUS Hawaiian Islands Roadshow

Feb 25, 2019

Attend sessions hosted by industry leaders from Airbnb, CiiRUS Vacation Rental Software, LoveRentals, Beyond Pricing, KeyData Dashboard, and Xplorie. Learn about the technology, trends, and insider information that will shape the vacation rental industry in 2019 and beyond.

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HomeToGo Widens Focus

Feb 26, 2019

Vacation rental metasearch platform HomeToGo is expanding its offerings to bring in mid-term rentals. The company says the move follows an excess of $50 million in booking volume it saw in 2018 for mid-term rental properties.

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March 2019

Airbnb Signs Agreement to Acquire HotelTonight

March 7, 2019

Airbnb signed an agreement to acquire HotelTonight. HotelTonight is a hotel-booking service focused on making last-minute trips easy and fun, offering guests seamless, on-demand booking for boutique and independent hotels

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Guesty Property Management Software

March 21, 2019

Guesty has raised $35 million in funding, bringing the property management platform’s funding total to $60 million - the highest of any other software in the short-term rental space, the company says.

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SkiTOPS

March 25, 2019 Telluride, CO

SkiTOPS is the leading membership organization for ski and mountain travel industry professionals in North America. The format for the Network & University conference, held each spring, includes contracting meetings between all buyers and all supplier members, educational forums and plenty of social networking among attendees at the meals, ski day and social functions.

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Google is adding vacation rental properties from around the world to its Hotel Search function

March 26, 2019

Google is expanding its accommodations search and booking platform by adding vacation rental properties from around the world to its Hotel Search function.

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Lola.com Business Travel

March 26, 2019

Lola.com Raises $37 Million to Transform Corporate Travel

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VRBO Rebrand

March 27, 2019

VRBO updated their brand and changed the way you say their name: "ver-boh." But while the look and feel may be different, their commitment remains the same: helping family and friends travel better together.

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Mountain Travel Symposium

March 31 - April 2, 2019 Whistler, BC

The MTS Forum promised to be the most inspiring and educational 2 days of the year! Workshops included "Growth through Innovation" and "Stop Selling! Start Compelling!"

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April 2019

Rented.com Publishes “The 150 Best Places To Buy A Vacation Rental Property In 2019”

April 1, 2019

"The Top 25 places to buy either have no regulations on vacation rentals or have stable, easy-to-navigate regulations that are easy to comply with. Purchasing in a stable regulatory environment makes you less likely to encounter issues receiving a return on your investment.”

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Google Is Expanding Its Travel Booking Service To Include Vacation Rentals From A Wide Variety Of Third-Party Companies.

April 1, 2019

Users can turn the mobile feature on by applying a “vacation rentals” filter to their searches and, according to Google, should let people book everything from a “cabin in Lake Tahoe” to “a beach house in Sydney.”

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Florida Vacation Rental Reform Bill Dies Out, For Now

April 14, 2019

Proposals to pre-empt local regulations with state oversight of Florida’s $31 billion short-term vacation rental industry are unlikely to advance

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Vacasa Acquires Sterling Resorts, One Of The Largest Vacation Rental Management Companies On The Florida Gulf Coast.

April 15, 2019

Sterling Resorts now manages 450 units in destinations along the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida down from 585 units in 2015.

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VRMA Spring Forum 2019

April 15-16, 2019 Charlotte, NC

Replacing the Eastern and Western Conferences, VRMA introduces its inaugural Spring Forum, designed to be the most interactive, engaging spring conference. VRMA Spring Forum provided increased ways to network with peers from across the country and more opportunities to learn through innovative education formats.

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Airbnb Leads $160M Investment In A Business Travel Hospitality Startup Lyric

April 17, 2019

Airbnb’s investment will help fuel the growth of apartments specifically designed for travelers. Lyric plans to use the money to help expand its footprint beyond the 13 U.S. cities in which it currently operates.

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RedAwning Announces Integration With CanadaStays

April 23, 2019

RedAwning.com, announced it has integrated with Canada’s largest vacation rental marketplace, to provide their website visitors with an additional 73,000 professionally-managed instant-book vacation properties from the RedAwning Collection including homes, condos, boutique hotels, aparthotels and villas.

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NWVRP Annual Conference

April 23-25, 2019 Sunriver, OR

Marketed as what will be their best conference yet, NWVRP brings the camaraderie, education, collaboration and quality venue that any great conferences delivers!

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Rentals United Adds $4.25M In Funding To Further Develop Its Technology Platform For Vacation Rental Property Managers

April 26, 2019

James Burrows, CEO of Rentals United, said “This investment round will allow us to build even more tools to help property managers everywhere to improve their marketing and business performance.”

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May 2019

The HomeAway brand is being phased out

May 2, 2019

Longtime brand HomeAway is being phased out. The Vrbo brand will be its primary short-term-rental brand. The HomeAway.com website will remain active for the foreseeable future, according to a spokesperson, but Vrbo will be the go-to name for marketing and branding purposes.

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Turnkey Vacation Rentals announced that their select rental properties will be available on Homes & Villas by Marriott International

May 6, 2019

At launch, Homes & Villas by Marriott International will feature TurnKey homes in approximately 36 markets across the U.S., including Austin, Texas; Destin, Florida; North Lake Tahoe, California; Summit County, Colorado; and Park City, Utah.

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Mint House raises $15M

May 7, 2019

The idea behind the brand is to offer high-end private accommodation for business travelers with services and amenities that would ordinarily be found in a top hotel property.

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Melissa C Thomas-Hunt joins Airbnb as Head of Global Diversity and Belonging

May 8, 2019

Melissa Thomas-Hunt will serve on Airbnb’s Executive Team and lead the strategy and execution of the global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs for Airbnb’s 5,000 employees around the world.

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2019 OPMA Executive Summit

May 8-10, 2019 Park City, UT

Designed for OPMA member executive level representatives, the intimate program format encourages discussions, the exchange of ideas and solutioning the industry’s most pressing and challenging issues

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Sean Joyce joins Airbnb as Chief Trust Officer

May 13, 2019

Airbnb's Belinda Johnson, Chief Operating Officer stated "Our vision is for Airbnb to be the most trusted platform in the world, and I am thrilled that Sean Joyce is joining us to lead our work towards that goal.”

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FL VRM Xtravaganza

May 14-15, 2019 Orlando, FL

At the Florida VRM Xtravaganza, you can count on top industry speakers that will provide you with the best knowledge, business trends, and product/service experience available. Xplorie presented the "7 Best Practices to Drive Direct Bookings."

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Vacation Rental Tech Week connects property managers and owners with innovative technology partners during one week of meet-ups and events

May 15, 2019

VrTech Events is now accepting applications for its annual Start-Up competition, which celebrates the latest innovations in the global vacation rental technology sector.

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A bill has been signed in Washington which will require short-term rentals to remit all taxes, maintain liability insurance and include critical consumer safety provisions.

May 15, 2019

The law obligates short-term rental operators and platforms to register with the state Department of Revenue and remit all local, state and federal taxes. Short-term rentals will also pay local lodging taxes which go towards promoting tourism-related activities in local communities across Washington.

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Airbnb adds former Apple retail chief

May 17, 2019

Angela Ahrendts, the former senior vice president of retail at Apple, joins Airbnb as its third independent non-affiliated board member.

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Amazon introduced flight search and booking on its platform in India.

May 17, 2019

A "Flights" button is now featured and takes users to the white label version of the OTA's existing flight functionality. The emergence of a flight booking tool comes amid ongoing speculation that Amazon will make a concerted effort to re-enter the travel space.

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New Orleans short term rental market anticipating tighter rental regulations

May 24, 2019

The proposed provision would ban "whole-home" rentals in residential neighborhoods in the city. This new policy will go to a final vote within 90 days.

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Airbnb is eliminating guest fees for property managers and hotels that sign up for its service beginning June 4th

May 28, 2019

Existing and newly enrolled property managers will have the choice to switch to a 14% host-only fee “or a shared host and guest fee” in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa markets.

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June 2019

GSV "invests" in LiveRez

June 3, 2019

GSV has been steadily rolling up large technology companies in the vacation rental industry, most recently LiveRez.

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Airbnb announces Airbnb Adventures, which it describes as a collection of "bucket list worthy multi-day experiences" in places around the world.

June 13, 2019

Airbnb launces Airbnb Adventures, an extension of its Experiences product offering unique, off-the-grid expeditions. Airbnb says it currently has activities from the existing Experiences collection available in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

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CiiRUS Roadshow

June 18, 2019 Key West

CiiRUS Vacation Rental Software, Xplorie, PointCentral, Vrbo, Beyond Pricing, Fudge Insurance, Beach House Logos, and Generali Insurance offered a FREE education and information forum to vacation rental property managers throughout the Florida Keys.

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Vacasa Acquires Sea to Sky Rentals

June 18, 2019

Vacasa welcomes all Sea to Sky vacation homes located in Seattle and the North Cascades into its portfolio of professionally managed rentals, estimated to be 85 homes at the time of closing, bringing the company’s total inventory in Washington state up to more than 650.

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Anaheim, CA leaders are reversing their ban on short-term rentals that offer an alternative to hotels to tourists to Disneyland and the area

June 19, 2019

The decision reverses a 2016 ban on vacation rentals that compete with hotels, but dozens of owners who agreed to shutter in August are in limbo.

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GSV Acquires Majority Stake in iTrip

June 20, 2019

Vacation Brands will add iTrip’s vacation rental management franchise model to the list of vacation rental industry companies it has already purchased, which includes property management software companies (Streamline, VRM, and LiveRez), web development and marketing companies (Bluetent and Bizcor), and travel insurance provider Rental Guardian.

Honolulu’s mayor has signed a bill giving the city stronger tools to regulate vacation rentals and their operators.

June 25, 2019

The law requires operators to include a permit number or address in advertisements, including those on Airbnb, Expedia and other vacation rental hosting platforms. Fines for operating illegal rentals could reach $10,000.

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Airbnb launhes new top tier of properties - Airbnb Luxe

June 25, 2019

Airbnb Luxe is comprised of 2,000 high-end properties around the world that come with the services of a dedicated concierge

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TripActions, the fastest-growing business travel platform trusted by organizations of every size, industry and geography, announced it has raised $250 million in Series D funding

June 26, 2019

TripActions will use the funds to solve the antiquated product, service and experience of the corporate travel management industry to bring the best experience in business travel to more enterprises globally.

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Booking.com has named Glenn Fogel as CEO

June 26, 2019

Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans becomes chairwoman of the group's division while Glenn Fogel steps in as CEO

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July 2019

North Carolina Amends Vacation Rental Act

July 1, 2019

These significant changes provide protections and ease regulatory burdens for vacation rental owners and managers. 

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Sonder, which rents serviced apartments, has raised $225 million at a valuation of $1+ billion

July 11, 2019

Sonder expects 4x growth year over year as it recently tripled the number of rentable units with more than 8,500 spaces in 20 cities around the world

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Rented.com And Key Data Dashboards announce Partnership

July 23, 2019

Rented will provide every Revenue Management Service client with free Key Data Dashboards

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TurnKey Vacation Rentals raised $48 Million in new funding

July 24, 2019

The funding will fuel market expansion and the development of new vacation rental offerings and technologies for individual owners and small property managers

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TripAdvisor created new advertising products specifically designed for tourism organizations

July 25, 2019

The company says this is the first of many enhancements it is making to its media products to provide better return for its advertisers.

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Vacasa to Acquire Wyndham Vacation Rentals for $162 Million

July 30, 2019

This acquistion nearly doubles Vacasa's US inventory and secures them as the largest manager with an estimated 23,000 vacation rental properties.

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August 2019

HomeAway Software Consolidates Software Systems: Migrating V12 and YesBookIt Users to Escapia

August 1, 2019

HomeAway Software announced to its software clients that it plans to migrate users to one common system, as the company is consolidating V12.NET, Australia-based YesBookit, and Escapia property management platforms and will move users to “a new, improved version of Escapia.”

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Vacation Rental Data and Revenue Management Conference

August 6-7, 2019 Atlanta, GA

The goal of this inaugural conference was to help VRMs understand the fundamentals of revenue management, examine the tools available to them and how to use them, and provide hands-on education in data and revenue management.

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Google Shakes Up Vacation Rentals with New Ads Benefitting OTAs

August 12, 2019

Google rolled out the new Vacation Rental Search which they’ve integrated with Google Hotels. The Vacation Rental Search allows users to browse vacation rentals without the need to ever leave Google. If you’re a vacation rental agency getting a large share of your traffic from “location + vacation rentals” searches, then you’re likely to see a drop in traffic and organic bookings.

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Short-term rental rules finalized for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, enforcement starting in 2020

August 14, 2019

The new ordinance will cap the number of short-term rentals in the town at 1 percent of the total number of dwelling units.

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Frontdesk Closes $2.75M Bridge Round Financing

August 20, 2019

The funding will allow Frontdesk to expand their technology platform and geographical footprint more rapidly.

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CanadaStays joins Expedia Group as part of the Vrbo family

August 22, 2019

CanadaStays travelers will benefit from the enhancements Vrbo and Expedia Group can provide, from collaborative trip planning features to virtual tours, mobile apps for both travellers and owners and chatbots offering real answers to travelers’ questions.

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VRMA Colorado Connect

August 27, 2019 Breckenridge, CO

A local opportunity in Breckenridge, CO to exchange ideas and connect face-to-face with fellow industry professionals in the region!

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September 2019

Google Adds Vacasa to Vacation Rental Search

September 5, 2019

Guests who utilize Google to book a vacation home will be directed to Vacasa.com, where Vacasa guarantees they will receive the best price.

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Hawaii Congressman draws up legislation to amend the Communication Decency Act (CDA) Section 230

September 6, 2019

Amending CDA 230 … could open the door for frivolous lawsuits affecting thousands of small businesses across the country, stifling travel accommodations and technological innovation of the industry.

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GSV announces new brand - Inhabit IQ

September 13, 2019

Inhabit IQ is a unique collective of tech-forward software companies, formerly Vacation Brands and Property Brands, servicing the residential, commerical and vacation rental industries.

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Ascent Announces New Partner Integration with TRACK by Travelnet Solutions for the Evolving Short-Term Rental Market

September 17, 2019

The integrated solution offers Professional Management Companies cutting-edge reservation technology, coupled with the strongest payment processing solution and support available in the industry.

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Key Data announces partnership with Price Labs to provide on-demand pricing

September 17, 2019

The leading provider of business intelligence tools for property managers has joined forces with the leading dynamic pricing and yield management software company to make it easier for professional managers to adjust pricing on-demand.

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AvantStay announced $20 million in Series A funding

September 18, 2019

AvantStay, a technology first hospitality brand revolutionizing group travel, announced it raised a $20 million Series A financing round led by 3L Capital. The company also announced that is properties will soon be avaialble for booking on Homse & Villas by Marriott International.

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Airbnb says it will IPO in 2020

September 19, 2019

The strategy targets Airbnb’s core Homes business across new property types – such as Vacation Home and Unique – as well as new tiers including Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb.

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Airbnb investing $25M in Affordable Houses & Small Businesses

September 19, 2019

The project will support construction and preservation of affordable rental housing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County. If successful, the pilot program will expand and direct more of Airbnb’s resources to projects that support families and communities throughout California and across the country.

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Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals (NWVRP) Expands to Hawaiian Islands

September 23, 2019

"GreatHawaiiStays.com will provide even more options to book direct for travelers looking to get the best rate guarantee,”said Blake MacKenzie, Vice President of the Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals association.

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Streamline Summit

September 18-20, 2019

Scottsdale, AZ

Expect more informative and progressive round tables with a mix of workshops and classes. The conference took place September 18 – 20, 2019 at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ. Xplorie was a Gold Level Sponsor and hosted a workshop on Gen Z Travel Trends during the conference.

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RezFest

September 24-27, 2019

Las Vegas, NV

RezFest welcomes all professional property managers to the vacation-rental industry’s leading technology conference. Get the insights you need to drive your business — because there’s a world of travelers to welcome.

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October 2019

How did Booking.com rate your properties? New classification system gives vacation rentals a star rating

October 6, 2019

Booking.com has been slowly rolling out a global rating system for vacation homes—or an AI-powered classification system—as the company described it today at the Vacation Rental World Summit in Lake Como, where Booking.com’s Alessandro Pacilio took the stage to show attendees around its latest product announcement.

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VRMA breaks ties with LSI Tools as comparative data provider for vacation rental manager members

October 10, 2019

Days ahead of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) International Conference—and with data and revenue management at the forefront of discussions—the industry’s trade association announced it has cancelled its VRMA Insights data offering for members.

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VRMA International Conference

October 13, 2019

New Orleans, LA

For three days, almost 2000 vacation and holiday rental professionals were invited to attend 60+ education sessions with tangible takeaways. More than 100 suppliers were also in attendance to showcase products and services, allowing professionals to leave New Orleans with solutions and partnerships to help their company succeed.

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Booking.com pilots integrated flight booking service with Etraveli

October 14, 2019

Booking.com has unveiled the next piece in its evolution toward becoming a full-service online travel agency — flight bookings in seven European countries. This is believed to be the first time that Booking.com has offered standalone flight bookings other than through sister company Kayak.

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Booking.com pledges semi-neutral role in private accommodation distribution

October 22, 2019

The online travel agency plans to create a service called "Partner Up" - a mechanism to allow private owners to connect with property management companies so that they can receive help with their properties.

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Vacasa completes Wyndham Vacation Rentals buy

October 23, 2019

Vacation rental management platform Vacasa has completed its $162 million acquisition of competitor Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Portland-based Vacasa now has 23,000 homes in its portfolio across North America, Europe, Central and South America and Africa. The deal, which was financed through cash and equity, was first announced in July. Vacasa bought the business from hospitality company Wyndham Destinations. After closing costs, Wyndham will receive $156 million in cash and $10 million in Vacasa equity.

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LiveRez founder and CEO Tracy Lotz out, Inhabit IQ exec to lead internal transition

October 24, 2019

Today, Inhabit IQ announced to its LiveRez customers that founder and CEO Tracy Lotz and CFO Rich Cook are leaving the company. The email stated, “After more than 20 years of shaping the face of the vacation rental industry, LiveRez CEO, Tracy Lotz, has decided it’s time to step away from his role at LiveRez.

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Vrbo tests unbranded listings, upsets property managers

October 27, 2019

Previously, Vrbo displayed company logos on listing pages which held enormous value for property managers in building brand awareness. Now, the property photo is being displayed where the logo once was, and the phrase “Property Manager” has replaced the company name.

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Airbnb leads $60M investment in attraction bookings brand Tiqets

October 29, 2019

Tiqets, the Netherlands-based ticketing platform for major attractions, has captured the attention of Airbnb with its new Series C investment round. Airbnb led the round, citing how the company has "effectively used new technology to connect travelers to communities."

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November 2019

RedAwning Expands Partnership With Amazon To Power Hotel-Level Guest Experiences In Short-Term Rentals

November 1, 2019

RedAwning is now adding two new Amazon powered guest enhancements: The first is the ability to easily filter for Amazon PrimeNow delivery services on RedAwning.com. This will enable guests to book with confidence knowing groceries or supplies can be delivered seamlessly to their rental of choice. The second addition is the RedAwning Hospitality Store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/redawning

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Airbnb Attempts to Ban Party Houses After Multiple Deaths in California Shooting

November 2, 2019

Guests using short-term rentals for wild parties and criminal activities have been the scourge of the sector, and the problem was highlighted again this week after a Halloween evening “mansion party,” booked through Airbnb in Orinda, California, reportedly led to the deaths of five people in a shooting.

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FareHarbor responds to criticism from tours and activities reservation system CEOs

November 4, 2019

There was tension in the air at the Arival conference in Orlando last week as FareHarbor CEO Max Valverde took a seat on stage next to fellow leaders of tour and activity reservation systems including Chris Atkin of Rezdy, Ruzwana Bashir of Peek and Jason Morehouse from Checkfront. In April 2018, Booking Holdings bought FareHarbor, boosting the profile and pocketbook of what had been just another one of the more than 150 reservation system providers in this sector (according to Arival research).

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Airbnb Announces Plans to Verify All 7 Million Listings by December 2020 to Regain 'Trust' From Customers

November 6, 2019

Starting now, verification of all seven million listings on Airbnb will commence. Homes will be verified for accuracy of the listing (including accuracy of photos, addresses, and listing details) and quality standards (including cleanliness, safety, and basic home amenities) and those that meet our high expectations will be clearly labeled. By December 15, 2020, every home and every host on Airbnb will be reviewed with the objective of 100% verification.

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Annual iTrip Summit

November 6-8, 2019

During this year's event, more than 130 iTrip Vacations franchise property managers and corporate staff gathered for three days of learning and networking.

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Expedia’s stock tanks as company looks to bypass Google and increase direct bookings on Vrbo

November 7, 2019

Expedia’s stock is down 26 percent today after the company posted Q3 2019 results showing underperformance. According to Bloomberg, Vrbo posted another decline in revenue growth last quarter, leading to a lowered profit forecast for the year. The company is citing SEO headwinds as one of the reasons for missed earnings and is investing in higher cost marketing channels to make up for lost revenue resulting from organic traffic coming from Google. Now, Expedia is focused on obtaining more direct traffic and direct bookings on Vrbo.

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VRMU User Conference

November 12, 2019

VRM University hosted a full day of feature and overview training, networking with select vendors, and individual support sessions with the VRM team.

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Vrbo Shuffles Leadership as Latest Expedia Group Reorganization Moves Take Shape

November 13, 2019

John Kim, who took over the reins of Expedia Group’s now-struggling vacation rental unit Vrbo in 2016, has been replaced in that leadership role by Jeff Hurst. In another move in Expedia Group’s ongoing reorganization, which has been under way for months, Cyril Ranque, previously president of Lodging Partner Services, became president of the company’s Travel Partners Group.

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Research Shows Reducing Friction Matters; Expedia Group Prioritizes for Travelers and Partners

November 13, 2019

Technology can improve travel experiences by reducing pain points and stressors along the journey. Today, Expedia Group and business strategy Firm Magid released the Online Travel Friction Index1, finding travelers want suppliers to offer a seamless travel experience, and to quickly and effectively handle any challenge during their travels. The research is aligned with Expedia Group's priority focus to unleash the power of its platform to build out traveler and partner solutions that can help knock down the barriers to travel, making it easier, more enjoyable, more attainable, more accessible and in doing so, ultimately bring the world within reach for billions of people around the globe.

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RedAwning partners with aRes Travel

November 13, 2019

Vacation rental property network RedAwning has partnered with aRes Travel to list instantly bookable vacation rentals directly on local destination marketing organisation websites [DMO]. The New Braunfels, Texas DMO will be the first site on which travellers will be able to search and book RedAwning short-term rentals as the partnership continues to gain traction.

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Expedia’s Vrbo to Reposition Itself Beyond Vacation Rentals as a Family Travel Business

November 14, 2019

Expedia Group’s vacation rental business Vrbo plans to reposition itself as a family travel site that would offer vacation rentals, resorts, and other features facilitating family vacations. The unit’s new general manager Jeff Hurst told Skift Thursday that the move has been in the works behind the scenes for some time. Hurst, who was interviewed on the sidelines of the Expedia Explore ’19 conference in Las Vegas, said he sees the move as a differentiator in a crowded short-term rental marketplace, and one that has almost limitless opportunity.

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Phocuswright Conference 2020

November 19-21, 2019

This year's Phocuswright conference provided compelling content, top­-tier attendees and an electrified atmosphere.

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WATCH: A visual history of digital travel company revenues

November 22, 2019

With more digital travel companies in the public markets than ever before, PhocusWire documented the entire history of quarterly total revenues since the first digital brands IPOed in the mid-1990s. The data, which is contained in an animated bar chart, is in United States dollars and in millions. All numbers were pulled from publicly available financial reports.

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Operto and Expedia Group Multifamily Solutions announce partnership

November 27, 2019

Operto Guest Technologies has announced an industry-leading integration and partnership that brings together Operto’s Smart Stay property automation solution with Expedia Group Multifamily Solutions.

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December 2019

VRMA Connect in North Carolina

December 3, 2019

Attendees had the opportunity to network and discuss trends, regulations, rental home technology, OTAs, property management software and more during this one day event in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Expedia group announces executive leadership changes

December 4, 2019

Expedia announces that CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill are stepping down. Chairman Barry Diller says the leadership changes resulted from disagreements over strategy. Diller will oversee day-to-day operations while the board focuses on a plan for long-term leadership.

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Senate bill seeks legal short-term rentals statewide

December 4, 2019

Throughout Florida, cities continue to litigate the question of vacation rental zoning. A Senate bill would render those debates moot. SB 1128, filed by Sen. Manny Diaz, would preempt the regulation of vacation rentals to the state. Local laws regulating or banning short-term rentals would be rendered moot.

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Skift Short-Term Rental Summit

December 5, 2019

Skift’s first annual Short-Term Rental Summit featured a series of rapid-fire conversations diving into the astronomical growth and often fragmented landscape of short-term rental landscape. Attendees also heard perspectives on the evolution of property management, online booking, major platforms, and changes in vacation rentals overall.

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Marriott’s Foray Into Short-Term Rentals No Longer an Experiment

December 5, 2019

Hospitality giants moving into the short-term rental space hasn’t always gone smoothly. But Marriott’s vice president of Homes & Villas said that the company isn’t getting its feet wet anymore — it’s found a business model that works and wants to grow it.

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Kayak’s Search App Will Soon Let Users Check in to Select Rentals and Hotels

December 5, 2019

Kayak is making a landmark departure from its current strategy. It will add a tool to its mobile app to let users who book select short-term rentals and boutique hotels through it check in and check out via its app. That moves the travel metasearch player beyond merely listing accommodations to actually providing extra services for guests at partner properties.

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World’s Largest Green Events Venue for 2019

December 11, 2019

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta is currently the biggest event space to be environmentally certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The center has spent the past 10 years investing heavily in sustainability — and now acts as a blueprint for other convention centers.

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Airbnb Rolls Out Policies That Aim to Improve Guest and Host Protection

December 13, 2019

Airbnb launched a number of new features and policies to help their community stay safe, including new mechanisms to support hosts, guests and neighbors who have concerns about unauthorized parties or disturbances.

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Zeus Raises $55 Million for Extended-Stay Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week

December 13, 2019

Zeus Living, an extended-stay, serviced lodging company, has secured $55 million in Series B funding. Zeus offers professionals furnished homes for stays of a month or longer. Its average resident stay length is three months. Zeus has grown to more than 2,000 homes across San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The plan is for Zeus to expand internationally and make it easy for workers to move cities, said Kulveer Taggar, CEO and co-founder.

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2020-01-29T11:08:59-06:00