HomeAway launches virtual reality 360-degree tour product for travellers

Worldwide: HomeAway has launched a proprietary product for travellers which displays virtual 360-degree tours of vacation homes on HomeAway and VRBO.

Such a move is unique in the vacation rental industry as the product provides tours ranging from “DIY” tours filmed on personal phones and cameras to professionally-captured footage from leading companies like InsideMaps and professionals like TruPlace.

Tina Weyand, chief product officer for HomeAway, said: “Virtual reality has transformed the way people shop for everything from furniture to fashion. HomeAway is harnessing virtual technology for vacation rentals in a way that has never been done before: not at this level of simplicity, and not at this scale.

“We’re proud to combine the brainpower and scale of HomeAway and Expedia Group to deliver even more value to our customers around the world,” she added.

Senior product manager for HomeAway, Ben James, said: “The barriers to entry for virtual technology have never been lower. Customers are hungry for this technology because research shows that properties with virtual tours generate more revenue.

“Given that each one of our vacation rentals is unique, being able to walk through a property before you book helps travellers make informed decisions. We want to make it as simple and quick as possible for anyone to have a virtual tour of their property on HomeAway and VRBO, no matter how they decide to do it or how much they want to spend,” he added.

Julia Hill, a property owner in Melbourne Beach, Florida, said: “For revenue-minded people like me, virtual tours are a no-brainer. Filming these tours has become inexpensive enough that investing in a virtual tour pays for itself with just one extra booking and HomeAway’s tool makes it easy to showcase the tour on your listing.

“It just makes sense,” she added.

The HomeAway pilot is currently being tested by owners and property managers in key destinations and additional signups are occurring at industry events such as HomeAway’s Rezfest and Partner Summits.

Owners and property managers who are interested in finding out more about the tours product can contact