TripAdvisor eyes European rental business, buys HolidayLettings in the UK
The deal for what was the UK’s last remaining large independent holiday rentals business puts TripAdvisor on the road to becoming an intriguing rival to the dominant player in the sector, HomeAway.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed today.
The purchase of HolidayLettings is the first major acquisition for TripAdvisor in Europe for a number of years. It snapped up review site HolidayWatchdog in February 2008.
But the timing of the deal will not come as a surprise to HomeAway after seeing TripAdvisor buy US-based rental business FlipKey in 2008 and officially launching its vacation rental channel on the main site in 2009.
HolidayLettings was created in 1999 in Oxford, UK. It has since grown to include around 40,000 holiday homes listed in 166 countries around world, attracting 25 million visitors a year to the website.
The business will continue to be run as an independent site, TripAdvisor says.
A report from PhoCusWright in 2008 estimated the US vacation rental market to be worth around $25 billion a year. Unofficial estimates at the same time put Europe even higher.
Although HolidayLettings claims to be completely independent, two-thirds of the business was owned (until today) by RightMove, one of the UK’s largest property sales companies.
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.