As of 2006, the vacation rental industry worldwide totalled US$10 billion. That's a staggering figure considering the market endured a torrent of bad press during its inception.
The industry for years had been suspectible to fraudsters preying on unsuspecting holiday-makers through the creation of dummy rentals and false publicity. Many vacationeers were also reluctant to deal directly with homeowners while the level of services on offer used to vary immensely according to individual property.
The industry soon realized it had to clean up its act. The benefits of vacation rentals for holiday-makers and the business potential the market held was too good a chance to fall by the wayside.
The creation of the Vacation Rental Managers Association, an organization that held companies accountable to a set of worldwide standards, ensured that the industry adhered to regulation.
In Europe, where vacation rentals are immensely popular, the industry has flourished as a better and overall cheaper alternative to hotels.
The positives of vacation rentals are that they provide more privacy and space for holiday-makers; amenities can be endless such as a DVD library, swimming pool, jacuzzi, hot tub, tennis court and so forth (sure you can get all these in a hotel but they're usually billed as an extra charge); and as vacation rentals are privately-owned properties it's more likely they are conveniently located i.e. on the beach, by a lake, ski-in/ski-out.
In Barcelona, vacation rentals had become so successful local authorities saw it as a threat to the hotel industry and passed legislation placing regulations and limits on it. This gives you an idea how attractive an option it has become for tourists.
A relatively new phenomenon in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, vacation rentals are rapidly growing in popularity especially among families with young children.
More than ever before, holiday-makers are placing extra emphasis on privacy and space, two major factors in the vacation rentals boom.
Mexico's major tourist spots are saturated during the peak season so having the opportunity to rent your own apartment, town home, house or condominium that is situated away from the crowded and noisy hotel districts is an attractive incentive.
Experts estimate that in Mexico alone the vacation rentals market is expanding by more than 15 percent a year.
Tips When Looking For a Vacation Rental:
- Ask the property owner the exact room size
- Ask for a detailed list of the amenities provided
- Ask for at least 10—12 photos of the place and rooms from various angles
- Go for sleek and simple décor
- Ask in advance for particular arrangements if you need them
- If possible, try and get peoples' opinion on the place or search for testimonials online
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