Expedia is phasing out HomeAway and directing all U.S. HomeAway users to the Vrbo site starting next month. This anticipated move is part of the company’s overall strategy to consolidate businesses to its strongest brand in a geographical market.
In May 2019, Expedia announced that it will consolidate all its alternative accommodations businesses under the Vrbo brand. Simplifying its vacation rental portfolio by consolidating businesses versus keeping them in silos, according to Expedia in last year’s fourth-quarter earnings call, can extract synergy and cost-savings. Specifically, this means they will drive supply through the strongest Expedia brands in a given market.
The Vrbo brand has been popular with family travelers and Expedia is leveraging that strength to make Vrbo the vacation rental platform for families.
“Since it was founded 25 years ago, Vrbo has become a leader in the vacation rental industry and a household name in family travel,” Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO, Expedia Group said in a press release. “Through the years, the Vrbo brand has consistently outperformed HomeAway with family travelers. Unifying our vacation rental brands under Vrbo allows us to focus our energies on providing the best travel experience for families everywhere.”
Jeff Hurst, President, Vrbo, added: “Family travel is incredibly complex – whether you’re planning a trip with kids, grandparents, extended family or close friends who are like family – it’s not easy to find a place that makes everybody happy. The incredible homes available on Vrbo are uniquely suited to serve all kinds of families because of the space, privacy and amenities they provide. Our singular focus on Vrbo means we can do more to give families amazing vacations and deliver quality bookings for our partners.”
Vrbo is currently in 15 countries around the world. In the past year, Expedia launched Vrbo in countries where the company did not have a vacation rental presence and rebranded country-specific sites to Vrbo.