Trailblazing family and friends vacation home brand to lead company’s global alternative accommodations expansion
Bellevue, WA - May 2, 2019 - Expedia Group announced today it has changed the name of its global alternative accommodations division from HomeAway to Vrbo®. Over the next year and beyond, Expedia Group will take a phased approach to launching Vrbo-branded sites in markets where the company does not currently have a presence and begin to rebrand some existing country-specific sites to Vrbo. The company intends to invest behind Vrbo as its primary global alternative accommodations brand moving forward.
“Vrbo changed the way people in the U.S. travel and has a large, loyal community. We look forward to building on its heritage and investing in Vrbo as our primary global alternative accommodations brand,” said Mark Okerstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia Group. “With several technology and business changes behind us, and the power of the Expedia Group platform propelling us forward, now is the time to focus on our brand strategy. Through a phased roll-out, we will gather the data we need to determine how to best introduce Vrbo to the world.”
VRBO was founded in 1995 and acquired by HomeAway in 2006, both of which were acquired by Expedia Group in December 2015. Since then, Vrbo transformed from a classified listings business to an e-commerce business with greater flexibility to invest in technology and marketing that improves the experience of finding and booking a vacation rental.
With strong consumer awareness and brand loyalty, Vrbo has consistently outperformed the HomeAway brand in the U.S. as a search term, according to Google Trends data. In 2018 Vrbo accounted for a significant majority of the U.S. business in the alternative accommodations segment.
“HomeAway has served us well over the years but was originally chosen for its descriptive nature for what was an emerging part of travel. Now that booking a home for a trip is mainstream, we need a lifestyle brand that travelers easily remember and love so much that they tell their friends and family about it. Fortunately, we already have one in Vrbo,” added John Kim, President of Vrbo.
Recently, the company introduced a new look, feel and pronunciation for Vrbo, citing its research indicating that Vrbo is easier to say than the acronym, VRBO, and easier to remember than HomeAway. New product features that make it easier for families and friends to plan a trip together were also introduced. As the Vrbo brand is introduced in new markets, sites such as HomeAway.com and Abritel.fr will continue to operate.
About Expedia Group
Expedia Group (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the world's travel platform. We help knock down the barriers to travel, making it easier, more enjoyable, more attainable and more accessible. We are here to bring the world within reach for customers and partners around the globe. We leverage our platform and technology capabilities across an extensive portfolio of businesses and brands to orchestrate the movement of people and the delivery of travel experiences on both a local and global basis. Our family of travel brands includes: Brand Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, Egencia®, trivago®, HomeAway®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert®, CarRentals.com™, Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, Classic Vacations®, Traveldoo®, VacationRentals.com and SilverRail™.