One of the world’s largest players in the holiday home market analyses its first year, the increase of its turnover and how the way of travelling has changed in 2020.
Zurich, 11 September 2020 – OYO Vacation Homes, one of the largest brands in the world in the holiday home industry, exists for 1 year. Following the acquisition of the @Leisure Group by OYO in May 2019, the company continued under the name OYO Vacation Homes from July 2019 with more than 140,000 homes in 70 countries worldwide. Since June, under the leadership of CEO Raj Kamal, OYO Vacation Homes, with brands such as Belvilla, DanCenter, Danland and Traum-Ferienwohnungen, has seen its turnover increase from its 2019 figures, despite the crisis. OYO Vacation Homes looks back on a remarkable year and looks to the future with confidence.
COVID -19 crisis: Interests of guests and homeowners at the forefront. Despite the growth in the market, Covid-19 and the regulations for (inter)national travel have had a huge impact on OYO Vacation Homes. The specialist in holiday home rentals has tried to give priority to the interests of their guests and homeowners. The company has worked hard to scale up customer service to handle the tripling in guest requests, cancellations and rebooking as well as improved cleaning guidelines to ensure guests the required hygiene. Besides that, OVH adapted its cancellation policy making it more flexible in order to meet the requests of guests, considering the homeowner interests as well. This included issuing vouchers with a validity of 3 years, cash refund if applicable, and giving guests the first chance to book the same house in advance next year for a holiday. This was challenging and did not always go well, with the measures taken the holiday home specialist tried to help its customers and homeowners as much as possible.
Holiday home: a model that also works with travellers who are changing their habits
Last-minute bookings are one of the clear trends in travel buying this year due to the uncertainty generated by the evolution of outbreaks and variation of movement restrictions. According to studies carried out by the company, 52% of OVH travellers are choosing to book more at the last minute in 2020. In fact, the company has recorded 92% more last minute bookings for the first two weeks of September than for the same period last year.
Reasons for choosing a holiday home
Among the users asked by OVH at international level, most travellers justify their choice of a holiday home by the level of cleanliness (91%). In addition, most of them argue privacy (60%) and the possibility of isolating themselves from crowded places (57%) as other reasons to choose it. On the other hand, travellers also value the possibility of cooking their own food (21%) or travelling with their pet without any worries (19%).
When asked about the purpose of their holiday there are two clear reasons: to rest in the middle of nature (62%) or to enjoy the sea and the beach (57%). OVH identifies that people increasingly prefer to Work from Anywhere (WFA), and they are considering a holiday home as a suitable option.
This survey also concludes that 32% of the people answering confirm that they like to travel this year because the places of interest are not so crowded. Besides that, guests travelling out of the summer season affirm they do it because they have always travelled in this season (32%). Among them, travellers prefer to go with their family (54%), instead of with their partners (29%) or with their friends (17%).
Positive figures after the crisis
Although the crisis is leaving its marks, OYO Vacation Homes shows nice figures. The occupancy rate is even higher than last year for the high season summer months of July and August in all countries, except Spain, Italy and Croatia, and in spring (during the Covid-19 crisis) more than 500 holiday homes per month were added to the total offer. DanCenter experienced a large growth in the number of bookings, namely a growth of 137%. At Belvilla, the number of bookings increased by 56%. The growth can be explained by the enormous preference for a holiday home in times like these and the reliability of the various brand names. A holiday home simply means more freedom and easier keeping your distance from others.
Future plans and trends
The brand expects that the trend of celebrating domestic holidays will continue for some time to come and guests will continue mainly choosing houses close to nature. The demand for such houses has increased at European level by 172% compared to last year. The focus in the coming year will mainly be on promoting the portfolio within the relevant country borders, but as soon as more opportunities and demand arise, travelling across borders will be promoted more again.
Raj Kamal, CEO of OYO Vacation Homes has explained: “Although we have only one year of history, several of the brands in our portfolio have more than 40 and 60 years of experience. We have found that in periods of severe crisis such as Covid-19, strong local brands are more trusted. Europeans continue to want to go on holidays and a vacation home fits perfectly their needs. The large variety of accommodations we offer, hygiene & privacy, as well as the excellent value for money are reasons that lead them to select our home rental option year after year”.
Focus on the European market
From the moment of the takeover, OYO Vacation Homes (OVH) has set its sights on further expanding its offering within the European market. More than 30-40% of the total offer of European holiday homes is covered by the brand. With considerable investments in resources and manpower, the specialist in this sector has increased its footprint in the market. For example, an agreement to acquire is signed with parties such as e-domizil for their TUI Ferienhaus offer and others like Airsimple have been announced. New regions have been added to the portfolio in the countries like Italy and Spain, the presence of holiday homes in Southern Europe has strongly increased.
Homeowners are also reaping the benefits of this
The acquisition and investments not only led to an increase in supply in Europe. Homeowners also benefited from the takeover. For example, in a recent survey conducted by the company, 85% of homeowners indicated that their income was rising. Among other things, the investments led to the launch of an app especially for homeowners. With this app they receive regular updates and more efficient communication between both parties.
OYO Vacation Homes is open for further acquisitions that fit within the current offer of holiday homes. The focus is mainly on growth in the full-service holiday home component, where the homeowner can opt for a full management and service concept. The international company strives to become the number one holiday home rental company worldwide.