Global Luxury Villa Rentals Could Hit £15bn – ‘Million Dollar’ Blogger Predicts

London—30 September 2015: The global rental market for exclusive and bespoke luxury villas – from the Americas to Australia and from the Caribbean to Thailand – is projected to be worth £15 billion (c.US$23bn) in 2016 – up from £1obn currently – according to the founder of Edge Retreats and ‘Blogger’ to a million dollar business.

Travel writer turned tech entrepreneur Luke McCormick, who launched the exclusive luxury villa and travel website Edge Retreats for sophisticated and discerning travellers, says: “We estimate that the global luxury rentals market will be worth at least £15bn in 2016. And, given that online travel sales are growing at 12% annually we see plenty of room for growth.”

The London-based Australian adds: “We think the number of online bookings could rise to 40% by 2016, with 20% of those coming from mobile as customers become used to mobile transactions, particularly with the introduction of services such as Apple Pay.”

While the global travel market is estimated today to be worth £500bn a year and growing at 3% per annum, online travel sales are growing at 12% a year and online transactions now account for 43% of all travel sales. Bookings via mobile devices are forecast to make up around 30% of online sales by 2017.

Until now no company has been taking a “truly global view” of the luxury villa rental market according to McCormick. Things are changing though with Edge Retreats, a venture capital backed start-up, which aims to be the first stop for high-net worth (HNWI) clients looking to book exclusive villas around the world.

Since commencing operations the firm has built up a portfolio of just over 1,400 properties on its website, which offers a visual feast of luxury villas and interior design. And, this number is set to increase further with 2,640 properties signed and ready to go live in response to increasing client demand and interest to visit new territories.

Luke states that “the sharing economy has yet to impact the luxury sector as it has in other parts of the market. This in itself presents a huge opportunity in terms of the number of properties available. It will certainly increase the size of the market substantially.”

Discerning travellers today who are looking for an ultra-exclusive villa anywhere in the world or particularly love the Cote d’Azur in France, Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, Bali, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, or the Caribbean, can be accommodated by the firm. But it does not stop there. While currently the company is operating on all continents and in 35 countries – including Australia, Bali, the Caribbean, France, Morocco, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam – they plan to double the number of countries served over the next 5 years.

Luxury Rentals Growth:

Edge Retreats, which has seen growth since launch more than double between the first and second quarter of 2015, is bringing new properties every day onto its site. Should a location or property not already be listed the operator will actively seek to cater for the requirement.

Almost all of the properties featured on the site offer real-time pricing and availability information and online booking. Typically the average booking is £10,000 per week.

The Edge Retreats founder explains: “The rise of real-time availability has now made its way into the luxury marketplace and transformed the way that we travel, by offering instant access to palatial rental properties ranging from lavish designer villas, to chateaux and chalets. The wealthy professional can now at any time select from a plethora of unique estates with a click and a swipe – securing architecturally stunning villa destinations online.”

 Coastal vs. Countryside:

McCormick, formerly of Secret Escapes, says currently that when travelling abroad, 43% of renters of luxury retreats choose a coastal location, while 28% opt for the countryside. But whatever the choice the aim is offer the ultimate luxury villa rental experience – from start to finish. Optional extras can include a chef on site or even a luxury car.

He adds: “We predict growth too for turnkey properties in the Caribbean due to the introduction of golden visa programmes in places such as Antigua and Barbuda and the launch of new developments in the British Virgin Islands.”

But other areas like Montenegro are “coming up on the radar”, he notes. He says further: “There will be continued interest and strong rental yields in France, particularly the Riviera. But also increasing interest from China in vineyard properties in the south west of France.”

Luke McCormick is available for comment and interviews. He can talk about topics including:

– Luxury villa trends and where the next hotspots will be.

– What changes are most affecting the luxury travel tech space now – and likely to in the future (e.g. booking trends – online and mobile).

– How digital luxury travel combined with bespoke concierge service is a space that is proving more and more popular. What international clients expect and want to discover.

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