Printer Friendly Acquires, Leading European Vacation Property Site.

Combination Creates Global Player in Vacation Property Market

SEATTLE, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- today announced the acquisition of Europe's largest Internet source for vacation rentals, Rent-a- Holiday(R) ( ), dramatically increasing its coverage of unique vacation lodging options around the world. ( ), owned by Rezworks(TM) Corporation, is the Web's most popular source for independent vacation accommodations worldwide and, owned by VHR International s.a., is the largest Internet site for vacation rentals in Europe. By joining forces, these two sites will offer more than 75,000 vacation units including beach houses, villas, condos, inns and more in over 400 of the world's most popular resort destinations.

The acquisition of Rent-a-Holiday by is the combination of two fast-moving leaders in the multi-billion dollar vacation property segment of leisure travel," said Steve Murch, president and CEO of Rezworks. "With this combination, consumers around the world will have a much better way to find and book their perfect villa, condo, B&B, or luxury inn, whether it be a short drive away, or halfway around the world.

"We're delighted to welcome the team. As their team covering seven different languages demonstrates, they bring lots of experience in the European market that will be invaluable in making the consumer experience on better than any other way to reserve a vacation online."

Like, Brussels-based Rent-a-Holiday is designed for travelers seeking a unique travel experience other than a chain hotel, such as a villa, vacation condo, bed and breakfast, or luxury inn. Both sites offer user-friendly search and customization capabilities that enable travelers to search the site based on criteria including destination (country, region, province or city), price, type of lodging and facilities desired. Properties listed include chateaux in France, bungalows in the South Pacific, and vacation condos in Hawaii.

A truly international site, Rent-a-Holiday's search engine allows site visitors to search in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Additionally, Rent-a-Holiday provides the holiday rental search engine and database to the Lycos sites in France, UK, Germany, Benelux, Spain and Italy. Combined, more than 600,000 travel-planning Web users visit and Rent-a-Holiday each month.

"We identified as the online leader," said Peter Ingelbrecht, CEO of VHR International s.a. "With its vast selection, leading distribution, and online booking services on the horizon, we believe this combination will bring our thousands of European property managers the best way to market their properties online, and bring consumers the best way to book the holiday of their dreams."

The online travel industry is one of the brightest spots in the burgeoning e-commerce field, expected to eclipse all other forms of online purchases by the end of 1999.

However, the existing solutions in the independent leisure lodging industry serve neither the consumer nor the property manager well. Great getaways such as beachfront homes, ski condos, European villas and lakefront cabins are too hard to find, and for property managers -- too hard to market. With its diverse and high-quality inventory dramatically expanded through the acquisition of Rent-a-Holiday, is poised to provide the most comprehensive travel reservation and booking systems for the vacation rental market. is a service of Seattle-based Rezworks Corp. ( Rezworks is dedicated to delivering e-commerce technology to the travel industry -- with a vision of making every getaway instantly reservable with a click of the mouse. In April 1998, Microsoft invested in Rezworks, and became the premier accommodations directory for the Microsoft(R) Expedia(TM) Travel Network ( offers more than 50,000 leisure lodging units worldwide and carries a wide selection of vacation lodging options including villas, condos, homes, B&Bs, inns, and more. It is also a featured provider of information to, Yahoo! Lodging, InfoSpace, MetaCrawler, Rent.Net, 1Travel, and, and has been selected as an Ask Jeeves Silver Platter site. In addition to, Rezworks owns Rent-a-Holiday, which features more than 24,000 rentals in 44 countries. Rezworks was nominated as one of the three finalists for "Most Promising Company of 1998" by the Washington Software Alliance.

Rent-a-Holiday was created in June 1997 by Laurent Coppieters and Peter Ingelbrecht with financial backup from venture capital funds such as Creafund. Rent-a-Holiday is an Internet communication system that allows vacation home renters to cost-effectively promote their properties to an international audience. The aim of the Rent-a-Holiday project is to stimulate the vacation home rentals market across Europe. Rent-a-Holiday is a registered trademark of VHR International s.a., a Belgian-based organization. Employees are of different nationalities, thus making Rent-a-Holiday a truly European initiative whereby seven languages are spoken: English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. Rent-a-Holiday's Brussels operation and team will remain as the European headquarters for Rezworks, and both sites will be fully integrated into a single site over the coming months.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1999
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