A recent survey has revealed holiday homes are the ideal type of accommodation for Brits and Germans, and the second most popular after hotels for the French, Italians and Spanish. In addition, the majority of people in all five countries consider holiday homes as cheaper per head than hotels, which is undoubtedly one of the driving factors behind the continued fast growth of this sector over the last few years.
In 2010, visitors to HomeAway.co.uk increased by 21% year-on-year and total booking enquiries increased by 25%. In total, visitors to HomeAway’s European sites reached over 53 million and booking enquiries totalled 11.9 million in 2010. And with over 525,000 paid property listings in 145 countries offered across HomeAway sites worldwide, the company now rivals some of the largest hotel chains in the world in terms of the volume and choice of properties it offers to travellers.
The Europe-wide survey conducted by TNS Sofres* showed that if budget was no concern, 39% of Brits and 32% of Germans cited holiday homes as their ideal accommodation, compared to 23% and 30% respectively who would choose a hotel. In France, Spain and Italy holiday homes were the second most popular choice, with 19%, 25% and 20% respectively in each market opting for a holiday home, versus 39% in France and Spain and 35% in Italy who would choose a hotel.
The survey also found that the French, Spanish and Italians take more frequent holidays than Brits and Germans, but Brits and Germans spend more per head and also venture further afield. While the former tend to holiday, in the most part, in their own countries, the latter prefer to jet off abroad. However, the trend for ‘staycations’ within the UK did remain quite strong, with 41% of Brits stating that they would take their main holiday in 2011 at home versus 35% of Germans.
The French have the lowest budget for accommodation with an average of €34 per person per night, the Spanish come next with €48, followed by the Italians who budget on average €56 per person per night. Germans have the second highest budgets with €61 and the Brits come out as the top spenders with an average budget of €64 per person per night. The majority of Brits and Germans also expect to spend the same or more in 2011 than 2010, whereas most holidaymakers in France, Spain and Italy anticipate spending less.
In terms of what type of accommodation European’s will stay in for their main holiday in 2011, around one in five Brits and Germans will opt for holiday rentals, making them the second most popular choice after hotels. In Spain and Italy, 11% and 12% respectively intend to stay in a holiday home, making them the third most popular choice after hotels and staying at home or with friends and family. In France, holiday homes are the preferred choice for the main holiday, but this is split between 6% who will rent somewhere and 29% who will stay in their own second homes.