holiday lettings

TripAdvisor acquires vacation rental site Holiday Lettings from Rightmove

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Travel website operator TripAdvisor, an Expedia company, this morning announced it has acquired Holiday Lettings, credited as being the UK’s largest independent vacation rental website.

The seller is Rightmove, a UK-based property website operator, having sold its majority interest in the holding company of Holiday Lettings to TripAdvisor for an undisclosed sum.

Rightmove acquired a 66.67% stake in Holiday Lettings in March 2007, and recently said it intended to report the property as a discontinued operation in its half yearly report, with the gross assets disposed of totalling £1 million.

Holiday Lettings currently advertises more than 40,000 vacation rental properties on behalf of private owners, property managers and letting agents. The homes are said to stretch across 116 countries and range from villas, apartments and farmhouses to windmills, yurts and houseboats. According to the press release, 25 million visitors use the site every year.

The other major rental brand in the UK is Villarenters, owned by Teletext Holidays.

The acquisition follows the launch of vacation rentals on TripAdvisor in 2009, and the purchase of a majority stake in United States-based FlipKey.com in 2008. Clearly, the company is keen on competing with vacation rental giant HomeAway head-to-head.

TripAdvisor says Holidaylettings.co.uk will continue to be operated as an independent site. The company, which was founded back in 1999, will remain lead as an independent brand from its offices in Oxford by the original co-founders and current management.

According to the press release, TripAdvisor Media Group now includes 17 travel brands after the acquisition of Holiday Lettings, which collectively attract close to 46 million unique monthly visitors globally (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide, May 2010).

  • http://www.zoopla.co.uk Doug Monro

    Robin, think you are slightly confusing folks with the comment that “the other major rental brand in the UK is Villarenters, owned by Teletext Holidays.”

    Holiday-rentals.co.uk which is owned by HomeAway is the number one in this space I believe (see for example Alexa rank although I know that is not a perfect measure).

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  • jenniemccarthy

    TripAadvisor needs to support open standards based secure ProtectNetwork logins. ProtectNetwork supports OpenID as well. See who else is using ProtectNetwork. http://www.protectnetwork.com/sites-enabled

  • http://www.Brusheezy Shawn Rubel

    Glad to see someone trying to compete with HomeAway. They totally dominate that industry.

    • http://bransontraveler.com Branson Traveler

      They do command their market. Vacation rentals (whether it’s for condos, villas, etc.) is a HUGE market that’s been mostly fragmented and scattered over the past couple of years and is just now starting to come together a bit, I think.

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  • http://www.getawayearth.com Andy

    Certainly agree it’s good to see some competition to HomeAway but I wonder whether this creates value for customers, both owners and renters? Prices won’t fall and apparently Holiday Lettings will continue to run independently. So it looks like Expedia, through TripAdvisor, buying into a growing European market. But value for customers?

    • Bob Harrison

      Increased competition drives costs down. In the UK the large groups take 20-25% for each booking. I can’t see that lasting forever.

  • http://www.getawayearth.com Andy

    I’m not sure prices will come down. Holiday Lettings, for example, charges a flat annual subscription which starts at around £200. There are add-ons to the £200 basic listing which can mount up but it’s not a percentage cut on each booking. There are definitely sites out there that do take a % and I agree they charge 20-25%. But they tend to be the smaller sites with niches in certain countries/regions and often they have a wider service offer than a straight listing – for example key holding, meet and greet, etc. Can’t see how £200 isn’t good value if you get a few 2 week bookings a year. Perhaps the ad-ons will get driven down, but I don’t think there’s huge room on price if bookings are delivered.

  • http://www.ojointernet.com/noticias/tripadvisor-adquiere-holiday-lettings/ Tripadvisor adquiere Holiday Lettings

    […] El operador de viajes online Tripadvisor, propiedad de Expedia, ha adquirido Holiday Lettings, el sitio de contratación de vacaciones más importante del Reino Unido. […]

  • http://www.gulivers.com/ Maxim Tee

    It is quite hard to compete with such tough market players, but it makes it more challenging. For example, http://www.gulivers.com also has its audience and provides free listings, what makes it stay afloat. Of course, the number of visitors is incomparable, but it still has its share.

  • http://sagerental.com Sean

    Interesting news! Our company, Sage Rental, also offers vacation rental services worldwide.

  • http://www.traveladviceuk.co.uk/ tripadvisor uk

    great. another a great acquisition for tripadvisor

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H4EWYKMLLN4CQYS7FPUNI25PLE John Smith

    Pretty nice post!!
    Thanks for providing us such a wonderful information and making us aware about such kind of sensitive news……..I will try to visit this blog very soon. 
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    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that.

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