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October 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Expedia getting into vacation rentals

The view from a vacation-rental apartment in Paris, where a one-bedroom apartment can be cheaper than a traditional hotel room. (Kristin Jackson / The Seattle Times)

The view from a vacation-rental apartment in Paris, where a one-bedroom apartment can be cheaper than a traditional hotel room. (Kristin Jackson / The Seattle Times)

Bellevue-based Expedia, the giant of online travel agencies, is getting into vacation rentals.

Expedia said Tuesday it will include the listings of HomeAway, a major vacation-rental agency, in a pilot program expected to start early in 2014. It will begin with U.S. and Mexico rental listings.

Instead of traditional hotel rooms, more and more travelers are opting for vacation rentals — of homes or condos — to get more space, more privacy and a kitchen. Expedia already books hotels, flights, rental cars and more — so vacation homes were a logical next step.

“In exploring the addition of stand-alone vacation rental homes to Expedia.com in the U.S., it made the most sense to do so in partnership with HomeAway, the world’s leading vacation rental provider,” said a statement by John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia.com. “We think it will be a win-win-win, for Expedia, HomeAway, and — most importantly — consumers.”

Texas-based HomeAway Inc. is the online giant of vacation rentals, with more than 775,000 paid listings (by property owners) of vacation-rental homes in 171 countries. The company’s portfolio includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States plus online vacation-rental companies in Europe, Brazil and Australia. HomeAway also operates BedandBreakfast.com (with which Expedia already partners).

Comments | More in online travel websites, vacation rentals | Topics: Expedia, HomeAway

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