VacationRoost Group Inc. (“VR”) today announced a substantial expansion of their Vacation Home Reservation Network with the acquisition of LeisureLink Inc. (www.Leisurelink.com). The combined company will offer travel sellers the largest collection of bookable and commissionable vacation rentals and will offer suppliers of vacation rentals the largest distribution network in the vacation rental industry.
The vacation rental market has been growing rapidly and has attracted many new entrants who are helping grow awareness for this category of lodging. As more consumers recognize the benefits of staying in a vacation rental, traditional travel distributors and online travel agents have grown more interested in offering vacation rentals to their consumers but have been deterred by the difficulty of aggregating supply. Unlike other travel categories that are easily consolidated and contracted through the Global Distribution Systems, vacation rentals remain hugely fragmented and largely offline. LeisureLink and VacationRoost have been working to consolidate vacation rental inventory, standardize the offering and bring it online since 2001. Today, the combined company offers travel distributors over 200,000 bookable, commissionable vacation rental units that can be contracted and accessed through one single supplier.
Vacation Home Reservation Network
The combined company’s Vacation Home Reservation Network is currently generating over $130M in annual vacation rental bookings through its owned and operated travel brands and through its channel partners that include leading online travel agencies: Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity as well as leading GDS players: Sabre, Worldspan, Amadeus, Pegasus and over 30 other channel partners. VacationRoost supplier partners will now be able to gain access to the millions of customers who shop on these well-known travel brands through their existing partnership with VacationRoost, and be able to manage their inventory, availability and specials through a single point of distribution.
“Today is a very exciting day for VacationRoost and LeisureLink, said Julian Castelli, chief executive officer (CEO) of VacationRoost. Both of our companies have been working hard to help make booking vacation rentals easier for the consumer. LeisureLink has focused on making vacation rentals available to traditional travel sellers and VacationRoost has focused on perfecting the reservations process on its own brands. The combined company will have the benefit of both areas of expertise and will have one of the largest collections of bookable vacation rentals in the industry.”
“Joining with VacationRoost makes a lot of sense for LeisureLink” explained Tom Lamb, chief executive officer (CEO) of LeisureLink, “As a specialty Online Travel Agent focusing on the Vacation Rental sector, VacationRoost knows what our channel and supplier partners need to effectively market vacation rentals. We look forward to the combined company building on the strong foundation we have created in the world of vacation rental distribution.”
The combined company will be led from VacationRoost’s Salt Lake City headquarters and consist of two divisions: The VacationRoost family of travel brands and The LeisureLink Partner Services Group.
The VacationRoost travel brands are driving the charge to make booking vacation rentals as easy as booking a hotel room. Through travel brands like VacationRoost.com, MountainReservations.com, Hawaiianbeachrentals.com and Mexicandestinations.com, VacationRoost’s platform allows customers to shop for and book vacation rentals online with all the comfort and security that they are used to having when shopping for a hotel through a traditional online travel agent (OTA). In addition to booking vacation rentals online, customers can also package vacation homes with cars, airline tickets, ground transportation, and local activities. This premium online experience is supplemented with VacationRoost’s Destination Experts, who are available to help customers find the perfect vacation rental for their vacation and to offer local expertise on the best activities, restaurants, and places to visit in each destination.
The LeisureLink Partner Services Group will offer vacation rental suppliers everything they need to maximize the booking of their units, including:
Marketspan Distribution Services: Marketspan allows vacation rental suppliers to reach all points of distribution, including online travel agencies like Expedia and Booking.com and offline travel agencies via the GDS, through one consolidated channel management dashboard. Suppliers are able to allocate inventory to one system and have it distributed to all points of distribution. Marketspan also includes sophisticated yield management and competitive pricing tools to help suppliers maximize their overall revenue across the entire distribution landscape.
Reservation Services: LeisureLink Reservation Services provides resorts, resort destinations and vacation rental suppliers with world class reservations capability that allows them to staff appropriately to maximize their bookings at a more efficient cost than they could do internally.
Technology Services: LeisureLink Technology Services provides resorts, resort destinations and vacation rental suppliers with online booking and travel packaging engines that allow them to seamlessly offer their vacation rentals online alongside other travel products like air, car and destination services that their customers are looking for. By offering all travel products conveniently together, partners are able to provide their customers with a one stop shop, improving conversion and earning valuable commission dollars on third party travel products.
The acquisition represents a major step towards VacationRoost’s goal of being the leading vacation rental reservation company. Following major investments to optimize its technology and service delivery platform and perfecting it in its core ski and mountain markets, the company has recently made investments to expand its presence in warm-weather destinations such as Hawaii, Florida and Mexico. With the acquisition of LeisureLink,
VacationRoost is now one of the top booking generators for vacation rentals across North America and represents the largest consolidated supply of bookable and commissionable vacation rental properties to the traditional travel industry.
The combined company will be led from the VacationRoost headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. Former LeisureLink board members Rishi Nigam, SVP of Wyndham Vacation Exchange and Rentals and Jim Armstrong, Managing Director of Clearstone Ventures will join the VacationRoost board of directors that currently includes Michael Sands, former COO-Orbitz, Elan Blutinger, founder of one of North America’s largest vacation rental management companies-ResortQuest, Rob Michalik and Corwynne Carruthers, Kinderhook Industries, and Julian Castelli, VacationRoost.
LeisureLink provides integrated distribution, revenue management and competitive intelligence solutions that simplify processes and drive more bookings, all from one platform. Over 1,000 vacation rental properties, timeshare resorts, condo hotels and boutique resorts throughout North America, Asia and Europe trust LeisureLink to maximize profitability and increase efficiency of their online performance. Headquartered in Pasadena, California, LeisureLink is funded by leading Southern California venture capital firms Clearstone Venture Partners and Mission Ventures, with a strategic investment from Wyndham Worldwide. For more information, visit www.leisurelink.com.
With more than 150,000 vacation rentals in 150 beach and ski destinations across North and South America, VacationRoost offers the largest selection of professionally managed vacation homes and condos throughout its network of websites and affiliate partners. Travelers can search, compare, and book their vacation rental online or work with an experienced Destination Expert to find the perfect spot for their vacation. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, VacationRoost’s team of experienced travel professionals is committed to making booking a vacation rental as easy as booking a hotel room online. For more information, visit www.vacationroost.com.