While progress has been made in the months-long battle to contain the oil from the Deep Water Horizon disaster, Gulf Coast vacation property owners face long-term implications to their travel and tourism business and property values.
To help vacation rental homeowners caught in a maelstrom of economic challenges, claims paperwork and inquires from bargain-seeking renters, HomeAway, Inc. – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – has launched the HomeAway Gulf Coast Response Center to provide timely news and expert advice.
A U.S. Travel Association study projects the effects of the oil spill on travel to the Gulf Coast are likely to last up to three years with a potential $22.7 billion loss to the travel economies of the Gulf Coast states. Often overlooked but directly impacted are owners of vacation rentals along the Gulf Coast who rely on tourism income.
“HomeAway has always served as a trusted resource for vacation rental owners. Creating a site for our more than 42,000 owners with Gulf Coast properties to navigate around complex issues arising from the oil spill is merely an extension of our valued relationship with our customers,” says Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway.
The HomeAway Gulf Coast Response Center, located at www.OilSpill.HomeAway.com, provides information and articles to help guide homeowners, such as expert advice on filing claims with BP, legal opinions and marketing tips to reassure current renters and attract travelers to the Gulf. The website also aggregates relevant news of the most importance to homeowners about the spill and efforts to support Gulf tourism, while providing a forum for homeowners to share experiences and advice.
Spearheaded by Director of Owner Community at HomeAway, Christine Karpinski, the online resource center is supported by real estate journalist Broderick Perkins, who serves as the site’s managing editor, and attorney Peter Taaffe, whose Buzbee Law Firm represents clients affected by the spill.
“The oil spill is far from over in the minds of vacation homeowners in the Gulf,” says Karpinski. “The Gulf Coast Response Center zeros in on what matters most to vacation rental homeowners and lets them know there is a community of support and solutions to help improve the situation.”