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Travelers looking for alternatives to hotels have helped grow the vacation rental market to a $24.3 billion industry, according to a new study.

Sherman, Conn.-based travel research group PhocusWright Inc. conducted the study, which forecasts that online vacation rental bookings will nearly double between 2007 to 2010. According to the study more than 40 percent of leisure travelers considered or booked a vacation rental in the past year.

The study was co-sponsored by 14 industry companies, including Austin, Texas-based HomeAway Inc.

Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway, says the report helps validate the potential of the vacation rental market. He adds that in the current economy, vacation rentals may prove more attractive because of their relative value.

Source: FAR