Vacatia set to pilot agent commission scheme as it expands into new destinations

Vacatia set to pilot agent commission scheme as it expands into new destinations

UK agents have been invited to register interest with a pilot commission scheme from a new US-based online holiday accommodation marketplace targeting families.

Vacatia was launched last November by a team of experienced executives from the hospitality, technology and digital retailing start-up sectors.

It brings thousands of privately-owned rooms within hotel and timeshare resorts to the holiday market for the first time.

Vacatia estimates there are 1,500 such resorts in the US and more than 5,000 globally.

Mike Janes, chief marketing officer, said: “We are already receiving many requests from international guests wanting to holiday in the US, and from agents who have discovered us.

“Our plan is to pilot a commission program with a select few agents.”

At launch Vacatia offered South Carolina (Myrtle Beach), Orlando and Maui, and has since expanded across Hawaii.

This week Phoenix (Scottsdale) was due to be added followed by the Florida panhandle (Destin, Panama City, Pensacola) next week.

This will bring the number of resorts to over 180 and the firm says it plans to add up to two destinations a month, including in Europe.

Vacatia’s marketplace is seen as an alternative to the growing home rentals trend pioneered by the likes Airbnb and HomeAway, but offering hotel-standard service.

Chief executive, Caroline Shin, said the concept was aimed at families’ “chief vacation officers” – often mothers – who want the amenities and private space they enjoy at home.

“There has not ever been a focused place for these listings to be shown and merchandised.

“Vacation rentals are surging like crazy. More and more leisure travellers, and especially families, are wanting ‘non-hotel’ accommodation.”

The San Francisco-based firm secured $8.8 million in funding last April.

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