Europe is the world’s largest holiday rentals market, and holiday rentals have always been an attractive accommodation option for European holiday makers. However, it is only been in the past two years or so that the spotlight has really been focused on this sector. What has brought about this renewed interest into the holiday rentals sector?On the holiday maker end, economics and technology are the main drivers. Belt tightening in Europe has meant that Europeans are holidaying closer to home within Europe or doing domestic holidays. Additionally, with the rise of the emerging markets, non- Europeans are able to travel abroad more often, and revisit a destination again after their initial tours. Rather than being cooped up in a tiny hotel room, for the same costs, they are able to rent a larger apartment or villa.Technology has been a key catalyst in bringing the holiday rental properties industry into the limelight in the past two years. As holiday makers get used to planning and booking their travels online with the aid of travel reviews, they are discovering that holiday rentals are better value for money.As for property owners, they are discovering that they are no longer subject to the marketing efforts of holiday rental management companies who take a hefty chunk of commission, and might not be putting in as much effort in market the property other than just putting it on their websites or brochures. The other option in the past was just having their own websites, which hardly stood out from the multitude of vacation rental sites online. The rise of vacation rentals by owners websites empowers property owners who do not need to pay any upfront fees to list and market their properties. These websites typically collect a commission with each booking, with the added security feature that the booking fees are only passed onto the property owner after check in. Property owners are also protected by setting their cancellation policies as well as deposits should they wish to. After each stay, both the property owner and the holiday maker can review each other, thereby building up their respective reputation for future stays and rentals.So why should property owners consider renting out their place to holiday makers via vacation rentals by owners websites? These websites not only empower the property owners to compete against the hotels on a more level playing field in the absence of a marketing budget, but it provides the property owners with the flexibility of renting it out when they want it, and not be committed to a long-term rent to a tenant or via a property management company.There are many reasons why property owners choose to rent out their place – be it saving up for a holiday, an important event like their wedding, not having to sell off their place if they have been made redundant, having a retirement income stream or simply putting their children through to higher education. Vacation rentals by owners websites empower property owners and at the same time allow them the flexibility in being an micro-entrepreneur, and running their own holiday accommodation without the need of huge start-up costs.