A new Irish Travel company that utilises the internet to help tourists book holiday homes abroad has been set up.
Holiday Homes Direct provides a direct service between holidaymakers and foreign homeowners, allowing people bypass the traditional package holiday usually offered by travel agents.
“People have greater confidence in researching and purchasing their travel arrangements online. With Holiday Homes Direct they have the opportunity to cut out the middleman and deal directly with the property owner,” said Suzanne Quinn, managing director of Holiday Homes Direct.
“This provides a valuable link for the consumer as they can communicate directly with somebody who knows not just details relating to the property but is familiar also with its surrounding areas. This offers something that is a little bit more unique and individual to the holidaymaker but that also works out cheaper and is inevitably better value for money.”
Quinn told siliconrepublic.com the idea for the site came when she bought property herself two years ago and found the traditional method of advertising in a newspaper restrictive and expensive. “With traditional advertising you put an ad in a paper and it’s there for about a week. It’s not cost-effective at all and it’s hit-and-miss whether you get a response.”
She said rising consumer confidence in transacting over the internet coincided with an available stock of Irish-owned property abroad. Holiday Homes Direct is primarily targeting Irish property owners who wants to advertise but anybody can sign in and list their property.
The company was established in January 2007 and is currently offering a free listing to homeowners for a year. The site was developed with web design firm Webtrade.ie.
There are over 500 properties listed on the site so far and Quinn anticipates this will easily exceed 1,000 by the end of the year.
“When designing the site, I was very aware of the challenges people have when managing property themselves. The site offers an administration area which will assist people in managing their holiday rentals while also offering comprehensive reporting information” said Quinn.
By Niall Byrne