Vacation Rental Awareness Month Can Aid Agent Sales

As more people across North America seek meaningful ways to reconnect with family, friends and spouses ­ on vacation, the demand for vacation rentals is increasing with record-high rates of guest satisfaction as guests stay under one roof for less than the cost of reserving hotel rooms. As a fast-growing $24.3 billion marketplace, vacation rental opportunities are there for the taking during November 2009 as North America's first-annual International Vacation Rental Awareness Month, designated by Discover Vacation Homes.

For the first time, travel professionals will have easy access to valuable tools, resources and the inspiration to discover how vacationers can stay together on their next trip for less.

A multitude of general topics, tips and resources will be available online at www.DiscoverVacationHomes.com throughout November, including answers to frequently asked questions, debunking the top vacation rental myths, as well as planning tips, 10 secrets to saving on travel with vacation rentals, the option's advantages over hotels, tips for choosing the right vacation rental, lists of travelers' testimonials and more.

The site's regional map will also allow site visitors to connect for the first time with professional vacation rental management companies across Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the United States, the vast majority of which welcome the opportunity to work with travel professionals and their clients.

Also available at Discover Vacation Homes' website will be a list of all travel specials offered by members of the Vacation Rental Managers Association across North America. Special rates and packages include a variety of multiple-bedroom vacation home, condo and villa rentals through the fall, winter, holiday and spring seasons. Travel opportunities include regions from mountains to beaches, adventure hotspots to theme park capitals and everything in-between, including options for trips through mid-2010. Commission rates can range from 10 to 15 percent, on average.

Making it easier to ask questions, connect with other industry professionals, with past vacation rental guests, to view and share travel photos and more, Discover Vacation Homes has also launched a Twitter profile and Facebook page in November's honor. Twitter users can direct questions about the category to @GoVacationHomes for knowledgeable and personal responses by experts on the category, and Facebook visitors can utilize a public discussion board, post past vacation rental reviews and browse and post vacation rental images among other interactions now available at www.Facebook.com/DiscoverVacationHomes.

"Despite the increased attention brought to vacation rentals in recent years, the majority of travel agents remain unaware of the option, its benefits and the great income opportunities it represents," explains Alex Risser, President of the VRMA. "Almost nine in 10 past vacation rental guests would rent again in three years, and would recommend the option to friends and relatives. Once travelers try vacation rentals for the first time, the satisfaction rate is incredibly high."

There were 21.5 million vacation rental bookers (U.S. adults) in 2008, with the category's online vacation rental sales projected to double by 2010.

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