Jan 03, 2013 | Comments 2
The Bangkok Post reports that the Thai capital sits in second position as Asia’s most popular destination among travellers booking a rental home online. Indeed, the Thai capital ranks second behind Japanese capital Tokyo, according to information released by Roomorama.com, the US-based short-term home rental site.
Bangkok has been one of the top three Asian destinations since 2011, and in 2012 was followed by Chinese capital Beijing.
Roomorama’s co-founder, Jia En Teo, said that Bangkok is the top destination in Thailand chiefly because it was the first Thai destination to be featured on the website.
According to Roomorama.com, the heavy focus on Bangkok is due to a large number of guests travelling to the city for business or leisure. These travellers are often looking for alternatives to hotels, especially when they are staying in the city for over three nights and desire all the comforts and facilities of a real home.
The website is now planning to feature alternative Thai destinations, such as Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai, as these locations are typically the most popular places for visitors in Thailand.
Teo commented, “Koh Samui and Phuket will certainly gain in popularity as we get more villa options for travellers who are tired of the large resorts”.
In addition, Teo stated, “Top five destinations worldwide this year  are New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney, while those in 2011 were New York, London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome.”
Further information released by Roomorama shows that the top five nationalities booking rental homes via the website were American, Italian, British, Australian and Singaporean.
With Asian cities climbing the rankings as desirable travel destinations, and as a result becoming more expensive, both homeowners (hosts) and travellers (guests) will see better value in offering a space for rent or renting a space whilst travelling, according to Roomorama.
PhoCusWright Inc, a US-based travel market research company, reports that the worldwide vacation rental market was worth US$105 billion in 2012, up from $85 billion in 2011.
According to Teo, Asia accounts for less that 20 percent of the 2012 total, because it is not yet well infiltrated. However, she added that this low saturation in the Asian vacation market gives Roomorama an excellent opportunity for expansion.
Teo stated, “Asia is becoming more affluent and savvy. Travellers are looking for ways to have a unique yet affordable travel experience. Asian travellers also seek comfort and reliability”.
To meet the need of Asia’s travellers, Roomorama concentrates on professionally managed properties in the mid to high-end market, for knowledgeable and confident travellers who are seeking a valuable, yet unique and comfortable experience.
With regards to properties available on Roomorama, Teo stated, “We have small, local property management companies that manage anywhere from 50-500 properties. By partnering with them, we’re able to grow our listings quite quickly while ensuring high standards of quality and reliability”.
At present, Roomorama has over 250,000 registered users benefiting from the website and this number is forecast to more than double in 2013.
In addition, properties featured on the website increased by 30,000 in 2012 to a total of 70,000. By quarter three 2013, the number of properties on Roomorama is forecast to rise to 100,000 in over 5,000 travel destinations worldwide. Asian properties on Roomorama make up 28.5 percent of the total number, including 7,000 in South East Asia. In comparison to other South East Asian countries, Thailand has the most properties by far with a total of 2,500 which is expected to double by mid-2013. It is followed in the rankings by Indonesia and Malaysia.
To sum up, Teo stated that the short term rental market is still in its infancy but it will expand to become a strong rival to the hotel industry.