Sprawling mansions, personal chefs and a private island or two have propelled Austin-based company HomeAway to the top of the ultra-luxury vacation rental market, the company announced Thursday.
Launched just a year ago, Luxury Rentals from HomeAway now offers more listings for elite travelers in one place than any other company in the world. Properties include villas, castles and estates and can be augmented with services such as chauffeurs and private jets.
What may come as a surprise is that quite a few of those extravagant properties, curated with the international jet-setter in mind and costing an average of $1,800 per night, are located in Austin. “Demand for luxury vacation rentals in Austin has grown as its signature events, such as SXSW and ACL, have matured,” said HomeAway senior VP Jonathan Gray in an email interview. “Bringing F1 to Austin has also opened up our city more broadly to affluent travelers from all over the world, and with it the need for more high-end vacation properties.”
“The luxury travel segment is one of the fastest growing in the industry,” he added. According to data collected by Virtuoso, said Gray, elite travelers who spend $100,000 a year on trips “have increased their travel spending at two to three times the rate of the regular traveler over the past seven years.”
Founded fewer than 10 years ago in Austin, HomeAway has become a wildly successful vacation rental business worldwide. Working with the Andrew Harper group, which publishes an ad-free international luxury travel magazine, the company launched the Luxury Rentals From HomeAway site a year ago.
The site now offers more than 4,500 luxury rentals around the world and lists properties in more than 40 countries and on six continents.