Are vacation rentals good business for travel agents? (vote in our poll now) Mike Thiel, dubbed "Mr. Villa Vacations" by Arthur Frommer appears to believe so. Meanwhile, according to a PhoCusWright survey we found last year, the niche market will grow by the billions (as it even celebrates its annual Vacation Rental Awareness Month every October) but still may challenge the selling of leisure travel.
If you are an agent who feels there is an opportunity in selling vacation rentals, then TripAdvisor's list of the top 10 vacation rental hot spots for 2010 should catch your interest. According to the site's recent vacation rentals survey, 28 percent of travelers are planning a visit to a rental property in 2010, and 40 percent are considering a stay.
Top 10 Domestic Vacation Rental Hot Spots
With a 10,000-foot volcano, lush waterfalls, pristine beaches and plenty of waves for surfing and windsurfing, Maui is a great getaway for some fun in the sun.
3. Panama City Beach, Florida
Located on the Florida panhandle, Panama City Beach is well known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters and is a top spot for fishers, with coastal waters filled with blue marlins, red snappers, and trout.
5. South Padre Island, Texas
The Lone Star State's most popular beach escape, South Padre Island has a lot to offer travelers looking for outdoor adventure, whether it be parasailing, hiking, bird watching or scuba diving.
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
A golfer's paradise, Myrtle Beach is also a terrific vacation destination for families and other travelers looking for a mix of sandy beaches, live entertainment and great amusement parks.
7. Palm Springs, California
Featuring opportunities for adventure or relaxation, Palm Springs has myriad of shops, restaurants and spas, but also access to many outdoor activities, including canyon hiking, an aerial tramway and golf courses a-plenty.
8. Tybee Island, Georgia
Located a short drive east of Savannah, Tybee Island is a fantastic vacation destination for beach bums and history buffs alike. Its great waves and miles of beaches draw travelers from around the country, but vacationers can also enjoy the island's historic forts and lighthouses.
9. Gulf Shores, Alabama
Offering the warm waters of the gulf coast, Gulf Shores is a fantastic spot to hit the beach, and also boasts a number of popular museums, amusement parks, golf courses and even dolphin watching cruises.
10. Ocean City, Maryland
Whether travelers want to try Maryland's legendary crab cakes on the board walk, enjoy the beach and a bonfire sing along, or visit nearby nature trails, Ocean City has them covered.
Top 10 International Vacation Rental Hot Spots
TripAdvisor's listings of more than 100,000 vacation rentals from around the world can be found at www.tripadvisor.com/vacationrentals.