The world’s leading accommodation website, booking.com, is expanding beyond hotels with villas.com.

The new website was announced at the 2014 Booking.com Global Summit at the company’s Amsterdam headquarters on Tuesday local time.villa in Mauritius

Villas.com is aimed at travellers who are after long-term stays in accommodation that is self-catered and suitable for large groups.
Its main point of difference to similar websites is that travellers are given instant confirmation via email after they’ve made a booking.
It also guarantees availability at a booked property, sparing any headaches with double bookings.

“This is not just another start-up creating more fragmentation in the vacation rental space,” Megan Anderson, Global Head of Villas.com, told media.

“When you book with villas, you’re booking with the world’s largest accommodation provider,” Anderson said, referring to booking.com.
The site is supported by booking.com’s 24-hour customer support team, and travellers won’t be charged credit card or booking fees.
“We see many sites that want to charge you to use the site,” said Anderson. “That’s never going to be the case on villas.com.”

More than 146,600 holiday rentals across 176 countries are listed on villas.com.

The majority of those rentals are in Europe, but Anderson said that will change as they expand.

There are currently 2547 properties available in Australia, in places such as Port Douglas, Byron Bay and Esperance.
There are 330 New Zealand properties listed, in, for example, Wanaka, Napier and Dunedin.

Anderson said the introduction of villas.com was not in response to a fad among travellers to stay in apartment-style accommodation but rather a desire by booking.com to “serve that customer and that segment of the market in a better way”.

Villas.com has a focus on sub-regions, meaning travellers can easily find accommodation outside major city and tourist centres.
Country-specific experts have also provided suggestions on where visitors can go, and the site features holiday ideas as well as a range of search filters, such as pet-friendly accommodation.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk