Vacation-rental giant HomeAway has partnered with vacation recommendation site Gogobot to launch "Insider Guides," a new feature that allows rental-property owners to provide localized tips and recommendations to prospective renters.
Insider Guides are in direct competition with Airbnb's Neighborhoods feature, which launched last November. Airbnb, which facilitates peer-to-peer property renting, now has multimedia travel guides for 12 cities around the world, including New York, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro.
Comparatively, HomeAway's online guides are created by its rental owners to highlight the interesting things to see and do in their local areas. They have the potential to reach more cities than Airbnb's internally created guides, since members of HomeAway's global user base can create them at will.
As part of the partnership, Insider Guides will combine the owners' advice with Gogobot's editorial content and reviews from its members. While HomeAway adds value to its core business, Gogobot gets new content for its 2.5 million members. Through Gogobot's mobile app for iOS and Android, travelers can access the guidebooks on the go for maps, directions and more.
HomeAway and its subsidiary Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO), a rental website that it acquired in 2006, together offer more than 740,000 rental properties around the world, according to the company. HomeAway went public in 2011 and has a market capitalization of nearly $2.7 billion.