Google Signals Its Vacation Rental Ambitions
Like Airbnb, Expedia, and others in the sector, Google is making a push to professionalize and increase its portfolio of vacation rental offerings, and that means enlisting property managers, and entering into new partnerships.
Along those lines, U.S. vacation rental property manager Vacasa announced Thursday that it has directly connected to Google, delivering its more than 14,000 vacation rentals as listings in Google Hotels, which currently offers both hotels and vacation rentals.
Vacasa, which has grown organically and through acquisition, and has a $162 million purchase of Wyndham Vacation Rentals pending, is the first vacation rental software platform to connect directly to Google using its own application programming interface (API). The largest vacation rental manager in North America, Vacasa said it will eventually get those 9,000 Wyndham vacation rentals into Google search, as well. While Vacasa’s strength is in the U.S. and Canada, it also offers homes in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
“We expect Vacasa’s partnership with Google to increase the visibility and guest demand for vacation homes we manage, thereby increasing revenue for our homeowners,” said Vacasa founder and CEO Eric Breon. “In addition, those who have an established preference for hotels may see vacation homes through their search and feel inspired to try a vacation rental for a future trip.”
Breon pointed to changing traveler preferences, and Google’s efforts. “We’ve seen a growing number of people opt for vacation rentals over traditional accommodations, and Google is optimizing its platform through these types of partnerships to better serve consumers,” Breon said.
The Vacasa CEO argued that it expects a first-mover advantage in terms of being the first full-service property management company to tie up with Google. “It also allows Vacasa to gather early performance data on the campaigns, allowing the opportunity to optimize our efforts earlier than future partners,” Breon said.
Google declined to comment on the Vacasa integration.
GOOGLE VACATION RENTALS VERSUS HOTELS
Google’s vacation rental search business is relatively new, and is a work in progress. For now, the listings predominantly come from online travel agencies, including Expedia’s Vrbo, Booking Holdings’ Agoda, TripAdvisor and the latter’s Holiday Lettings brand, among others.