Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Foreign Travel To Boost 2008 Vacation Home Market

Foreigners cashing in on the weak U.S. dollar to buy homes in America are also expected to boost the nation's 2008 vacation home rental market.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - If you want to keep your vacation home occupied this year, your 2008 vacation home marketing campaign should include an international outreach effort.

More travelers from abroad are coming to America this year.

The same weak U.S. dollar that's enticing foreigners to buy vacation homes in America will also give foreign tourists more travel for their bucks.

And travel bargain hunters typically look to vacation homes for accommodations with extra value. Virtually all customers who have stayed in a vacation rental -- 99 percent -- say they would stay there again, according to Destination Hotels & Resorts.

The Travel Industry Association forecasts foreign travel expenditures in the U.S. will amount to nearly $99 billion in 2008, up more than 7 percent over 2007.

Domestic travel spending should come in at nearly $680 billion, but that's only a 5 percent increase over 2007.

Also, 4 percent more foreigners will visit the U.S. in 2008, compared to 2007, but the number of domestic travelers will increase by only 2 percent, according to the Travel Industry Association.

Tourists who want both home-like amenities and the best stay for the money often look to the vacation home rental market to fulfill both needs.

Travel guru Ed Perkins says in 2008, vacation rentals offer the best antidote to rising hotel rates and the Internet makes finding travel housing easy.

"The surprising thing is the actual cost to rent the homes. I think, the average traveler thinks that vacation homes are expensive to rent. Our survey results show the opposite," said Christine Karpinski, real estate investor, author and director of Owner Advocacy for HomeAway.Com.

"Yes, there are the $20,000-a-week properties out there, but the vast majority of the homes available for rent are within the $100-$300 per night, peak-season range and if you want to travel off peak, you can snag a very nice place for $100-$200/night," Karpinski said.

In the HomeAway survey of nearly 4,000 vacation home owners, 20.9 percent charged from $100 to $142 a night; 22.78 percent charged $143 to $199 per night; 23.99 percent charged $200 to $299.

"And these are nice properties, properties on the beach, with swimming pools, tennis, on site-restaurants, high speed Internet, etc. They cost anywhere from $400,000 to $500,000 to purchase, but for the renters, they are only $250 per night during peak season, and during off-peak, you can rent them for as little as $150 a night," said Karpinski.

In another HomeAway survey of more than 36,000 travelers, nearly 60 percent said they plan on renting a vacation home, rather than a hotel or other accommodations for their next vacation.

"Since 75 percent of the respondents to this survey have children, it's quite obvious that for families, renting a vacation home offers so much more than a single hotel room. They can put their kids to bed in separate room, have the convenience of the kitchen (not eating out every meal), and the cost will not break their budgets," Karpinski said.

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© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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