Vacation rentals are privately owned residential properties that property owners and managers rent to travelers on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis. According to a study by PhoCusWright, the market for vacation rentals in the U.S. stood at $23 billion in 2012, lower than its levels prior to the recession. However, the share of online sales in vacation rentals doubled from 12% in 2007 to 24% in 2012, and this is expected to increase to 30% by 2014.
The growing market for online vacation renting has fueled the rise of many start-ups. One such company, HomeAway, was founded in 2004. It brings together travelers and vacation property owners on a single platform via its website.