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From Vrbo to Airbnb: Exploring the Top Vacation Rental Platforms

Attention, travelers and vacation enthusiasts! Have you ever heard of Vrbo? It is an online marketplace that allows you to book and rent properties, from apartments to houses, cabins, and cottages.

In this article, we explore everything you need to know about Vrbo, from its history to its features. History of Vrbo: From David Clouse to HomeAway Acquisition

Vrbo was founded in 1995 by David Clouse, who recognized the need for a platform to connect travelers with property owners.

Initially, the platform was primarily used by owners of vacation homes to advertise their properties to potential renters. As the internet grew in popularity, Vrbo became a household name and expanded its purpose to include various vacation rentals around the world.

In 2005, the company was acquired by HomeAway, a similar online vacation rental platform. This acquisition helped Vrbo to expand further and reach a wider audience of travelers.

Acquisition by Expedia and Brand Overhaul to Retire HomeAway

In 2015, Expedia acquired HomeAway, and thus Vrbo, for $3.9 billion, making it one of the largest acquisitions in the travel industry. Since then, Vrbo has undergone some significant changes, including a brand overhaul that retired the HomeAway brand in 2020.

This move aimed to strengthen the Vrbo brand as the number one platform for vacation rentals worldwide.

Features and Benefits of Vrbo

Now that we have explored the history of Vrbo lets dive deeper into its features and benefits. When you visit the Vrbo website, you can filter your search by location, property type, number of rooms, price, and more.

This feature allows you to find the perfect rental for your vacation, depending on your requirements. Additionally, you can narrow down your search results by sorting properties based on the reviews left by previous guests.

Another important feature of Vrbo is the host profile. This profile gives you a glimpse into the personality and background of the property owner and allows you to communicate with them.

It also enables the owner to share any additional information about the property and answer any questions you may have before booking. Communication on Vrbo is made easy through the platform’s private messaging system.

You can communicate with your host before, during, and after your stay, and the messaging system ensures that all correspondence is secure and confidential. Finally, Vrbo offers some guarantees to ensure that you get the best possible rental experience.

For example, Vrbo provides a secure payment system that guarantees that all financial transactions are secure. Additionally, in case of any issues, Vrbo has a 24/7 customer service team ready to assist you.

Size and Revenue Projection

Since its acquisition by Expedia, Vrbo has grown by leaps and bounds, cementing its position as one of the largest vacation rental platforms globally. According to Statista, Vrbo generated revenue of approximately $33.50 billion in 2020, and this number is projected to grow further in the coming years.


In conclusion, Vrbo is a popular online vacation rental platform that has helped millions of travelers around the world find their ideal vacation rental. With a robust filtering system, host profiles, secure messaging system, and 24/7 customer service, Vrbo ensures that you have a seamless and enjoyable vacation rental experience.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy cabin in the woods or a beachfront villa, Vrbo has something for everyone. Are you searching for accommodation online?

Chances are, you have heard of Vrbo’s top competitor, Airbnb. As the global leader in vacation rentals, Airbnb offers a vast variety of rental properties, from private rooms to entire homes.

However, Airbnb’s rise to the top has come with its own set of challenges, including legal battles and criticism for its impact on rental costs. In this section, we explore Airbnb in detail and take a look at Vrbo’s other competitors.

Airbnb: The Giant in Vacation Rentals

Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, with the primary goal of providing an affordable alternative to traditional hotels. The company has come a long way since then, with over 7 million listings in more than 220 countries.

They offer a wide range of rental options, from a shared room to an entire home, making it possible for tourists and business travelers to find the perfect accommodation. But, Airbnb’s success has also come with several issues.

The platform has faced legal battles over issues such as excessive noise levels and damage caused to rental properties. Also, it has been criticized for contributing to the gentrification of neighborhoods, especially in popular tourist destinations.

Airbnb’s impact on Rental Costs

Airbnb’s rise has also contributed to a rise in rental costs in major cities and tourist destinations worldwide. The company has been accused of driving up rental prices, making it difficult for locals to find affordable accommodation.

However, Airbnb claims that their platform only serves to increase the supply of rental properties, therefore lowering rental costs.

Company Statistics

Airbnb has grown into a behemoth, with impressive statistics to match. According to Statista, Airbnb generated $3.4 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

Additionally, their market capitalization currently stands at over $70 billion.

Other Competitors on the Block

While Airbnb may be the most well-known vacation rental platform, they are not the only players in the game. Let’s take a look at some of Vrbo’s other competitors in the industry. This platform offers a wide selection of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, and holiday homes. They have a user-friendly interface and an excellent reputation, with over 28 million listings worldwide.

Expedia: One of the largest online travel agencies, Expedia offers a broad range of products, from flights to hotels and vacation rentals. Expedia has been in the travel business for over 20 years and has built up an impressive reputation in the industry.

Agoda: A subsidiary of Booking Holdings, Agoda specializes in hotel bookings but also includes vacation rentals in its offerings. They currently offer over two million properties worldwide, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

TripAdvisor: Known for its user-generated reviews, TripAdvisor offers more than just feedback. They also offer a vacation rental section, which includes a mix of private accommodations and professional rentals. This platform offers a broad range of hotels and vacation rentals around the world. They also allow travelers to earn loyalty rewards when booking stays, which can then be used for discounted stays.

Trivago: A German-based company, Trivago is a hotel search engine that allows users to compare hotel and vacation rental prices from various booking sites. They currently offer hotel and vacation rental options in over 190 countries.

OYO: Known for its budget-friendly hotel options, OYO has recently expanded its offerings to include vacation rentals in India and several Asian countries. The platform focuses on affordable and clean accommodations suitable for budget travelers.

Expanding Flight Comparison Sites

Other notable honorable mentions include hotel chains’ own booking platforms, such as Hilton and Marriott. Additionally, several flight comparison sites, such as Kayak and Skyscanner, have expanded their offerings to include accommodations booking.

While these platforms may not have as extensive vacation rental options as the larger companies, they do offer some alternative options for travelers. Google’s Entry into Travel

Google has also entered the travel industry, starting with their acquisition of ITA in 2011.

Since then, they have launched several travel products, including Google Flights, Google Hotels, and Google Trips. While they do not currently offer vacation rentals, there have been rumors of an upcoming launch of such a service.

However, Google has faced criticism for favoring their products over competitors in search results, which has led to antitrust investigations.


The vacation rental industry has grown exponentially over the years, with competition at an all-time high. While Airbnb and Vrbo may be the most well-known platforms, a range of other competitors offer similar experiences.

With a variety of options available, travelers can now find the perfect accommodation to suit their preferences. The vacation rental industry has exploded in recent years, with a host of platforms vying for traveler’s attention.

Airbnb, Vrbo,, Expedia, Agoda, TripAdvisor,, trivago, Google Travel, and OYO are among the most popular platforms in the industry. While Airbnb is the biggest player on the block, competition is fierce, and many other platforms offer similar experiences.

With a variety of options available, travelers can now find the perfect accommodation to suit their preferences and budget. The rise of vacation rental platforms has come with its share of challenges in pricing, legal matters, and gentrification, but there is no denying that they represent a significant shift in the travel industry that benefits both property owners and travelers.

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