Monday, February 7, 2011

HomeAway's New Anti Motel/Hotel Campaign

HomeAway is an OTA that claims to have the world’s largest collection of vacation rental homes with more than 540,000 paid listings across 120 countries.

HomeAway's aggressive marketing stance is based on the notion that the public should forget about those pesky hotels and motels and rent private homes instead. They are putting their money where their mouth is and are spending millions to spread the word by trashing conventional commercial accommodation!

Last year's Super Bowl was used as the launching pad for HomeAway's multi-media advertising campaign, “Hotel Hell Vacation.” Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and the Family Truckster made a return from the gaudy 1980s Griswold's Family Vacation movies with an 14-minute mini-movie to promote HomeAway.

Meanwhile Kiwis are leading the worldwide trend of booking private homes for holidays. Websites such as the AA's Bookabach and TradeMe's Holiday Houses are attracting increased traffic on the web from Kiwis browsing for alternative accommodation options. And punters are spoiled for choice with an over abundance of Ma and Pa owners of domestic accommodation that crave to get some short-term rental action.

The market of available short term rentals is surprisingly huge with Bookabach claiming to have over 5,300 listings and Holiday Houses over 7,500. Not only are these fee collecting websites very successful, they are also providing a happy hunting ground for the IRD;-)

Although guest nights for short term rentals of private homes are not recorded on the Statistics NZ's official accommodation survey, we reckon that holiday rentals while operating below the radar are New Zealand's fastest growing accommodation sector. 

With an apparent squeeze on the domestic leisure market at the moment, motels and hotels especially must be wary of competing with a Johnny-come-lately accommodation sector. 

We see that HomeAway have again used the Super Bowl to introduce a new campaign assault. This week, HomeAway introduced the world to The Minister of Detourism that has been given the task of "saving vacations":
"Families are being swindled. 
Because hotels hate your guts! 
Rent a vacation home from Space...privacy...freedom.
Why hotel when you can HomeAway?!" 
We wonder how mainstream accommodation sectors may wish to respond?

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