It seems that Expedia are taking over the VRBO and Home Away group for a mere 3.9 Billion dollars!! They have announced that from 2016 they will be implementing a booking fee that holiday makers will have to pay!
So not only are they charging huge fees to the property owners (costs have increased dramatically over the last few years) they are taking money from the end user as well. The goal posts have been changing over the last few years, one must upgrade if you want your advert to appear..... one must accept immediate on-line bookings..... one must etc......
As the proverb goes can they have their cake and eat it?
It may sound like they are trying to "oust" the small family companies, but bring it on we say!
The larger they become the harder it will be for them to offer any real customer service, and how do you find the perfect villa amongst thousands of properties?
Our sentiment is "We want to plan your holiday the way your would plan your own".
South France villas are celebrating 15 years in the holiday rental business and we thought we would share some of the changes we have seen over that time, our top 5 are:
1 - WI-FI, clients now wish to have high speed and free internet access on holiday and even on the beach, when we first started very few houses even had the internet!
3 - Low cost airlines, Ryanair and Easy-Jet have opened up the Languedoc Roussillon area to the whole of Europe, there are now 5 airports in the region. With a flight time of less than 2 hours this can be more appealing than the 10 hour drive, with the added bonus of not having to pass through Calais.
4 - Credit Crisis, this had an impact for off season bookings, however July and August continues to be popular. So many people have happy memories of childhood family holidays in the South of France and want their children to also experience the unique French culture, however with a little more luxury than a tent or caravan and of course not forgetting the holiday essential WI-FI!
5 - Direct marketing sites, Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and the like made a huge impact on the market place. However owners and clients are now returning to the more personal, specalised agencies like us, not just for the personal service but also after seeing the amount of scams that have taken place on the direct websites.
So if you are thinking of booking a villa holiday in the South of France maybe in the
Languedoc Roussillon, Cote d'Azur or Provence then you know where we are!