Automation, machine learning and RV rentals: Marco del Rosario, VacationRenter

US: ShortTermRentalz speaks to VacationRenter COO Marco del Rosario about the company’s recent partnership with peer-to-peer RV rental platform Outdoorsy and the increasing prevalence of automation and machine learning within the vacation rental space.

  • Please introduce yourself, the VacationRenter brand and the services you provide within the vacation rental industry. 

“I’m Marco del Rosario, COO at VacationRenter. Prior to joining VacationRenter I spent over five years at Google working on travel partnerships and product. 

“VacationRenter is a vacation rental search engine. We bring together all the rental options from leading travel sites together in one place and showcase only the best results. Finding the perfect vacation rental can be very time-consuming, and we wanted to help make that process easier than ever before.”

  • Why have you decided to partner with peer-to-peer RV rental platform Outdoorsy and how will this complement your existing offerings?

“Over time, we found that the perfect rental can mean completely different things for different people, so we decided to expand upon our accommodation types through this partnership with Outdoorsy. Now, in addition to our already incredible array of vacation home rentals and more, we’ll also have Outdoorsy’s full inventory of over 40,000 RVs available on VacationRenter. So travellers can have more options available on VacationRenter in order to create their perfect vacation experience.”

  • Do you think we will see a trend whereby more vacation rental companies partner with transportation services in the mold of Outdoorsy?

“It is hard to say where the industry will go, but for us, it is always been about focusing on the traveller journey and finding ways to add value.”

  • You spent five and a half years at Google working on travel partnerships and products – how did you put this expertise to good effect this time?

“My time at Google not only taught me an incredible amount about the travel industry and ecosystem, but also how to be a part of a world-class team that can build product at immense scale. Travel is a huge space and the amount of opportunities can almost be overwhelming. My time at Google taught me how to prioritise, though, and we felt that partnering with an RV partner was the right move at the right time for our millions of customers.”

  • Last year, you announced plans for international expansion after exceeding 50,000 bookings per month – what can you divulge about this and where are you targeting for growth?

“On VacationRenter today, you can find vacation rentals and other accommodations just about anywhere in the world you want to go. We have been quietly expanding our audience globally, but are not quite ready to share any specific additional updates at this time.”

  • How do you think we will see automation be used more frequently in the vacation rental space in 2020? How will it be more accessible for travelers to find their ‘perfect’ rental as a result?

“The great thing about our use of automation and machine learning is that over time, we get better. We use millions of different customer signals to help travellers find the rentals that could be perfect for them. So as our search algorithm improves, the vacation rental search process will only become easier.”

For more information, visit the VacationRenter website here.