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www.Buy2Greece.com – Top Ten Critical Vacation Rental Booking Questions

So, what are the essential questions you should have answers to before you book your vacation home for the holidays?

1. What are the extra supplies that you will need to carry with you?

First time renters – beware. There are a lot of extra things that you will have to carry with you. Some of them are shampoo, other personal products, cereal etc. What comes along with the rental property depends on the vacation home owner, so don’t take anything for granted. And yes, carry extra toilet paper because you never know what is going to be provided or not. Just to be on the safe side, however, keep a box ready with a few essential items and either carry it with you or have it shipped there after informing the property owner.

2. How should you get the keys from the home renter?

Many people face difficulties simply because of miscommunication with their vacation home renters. You don’t want to be stuck on the doorstep waiting for the home owner to return home and unlock the door for you. So, either keep them properly informed about your ETA or arrange to pick up the keys from a lock box and have the combination sent to your mobile phone.

3. How to locate the property?

Make sure the home owner sends you the exact location of the rental property via Google Maps, just so you know exactly how to get there in the event that you can’t find the place and get lost. Also, use Google Earth to check out exactly where that property is situated so you won’t get fooled about ‘beachfront’ properties that are miles from the beach.

4. Who should you call when something stops working?

Just like how you always have emergency contacts stored in your mobile in case something breaks at home or just stops working, you need to have an emergency contact for your rental home as well. Make sure you get the phone numbers from the property owner before you arrive.

5. Does the property get satisfactory cell reception?

Now, for those vacation goers who want to get away from the buzz of the city and all the demands that come with it, this question might not seem so important. But, trust us, when you face an emergency of any kind, especially medical, you will curse yourself for not having asked the owner about this.

6. What exactly is the cancellation policy for the vacation home?

Always be sure that you find out about the home owner’s cancellation policy because life is uncertain and any number of unexpected things like sudden illnesses, extreme weather conditions or work demands could happen causing you to cancel your rental plans.

7. Does the house face problems due to insects and bugs?

This is extremely important to find out about, especially if you are a city dweller. You don’t want to come all the way to your vacation home in the countryside only to find the place surrounded by bugs or squirrels or critters! If these are found roaming about very commonly, you will need the number of a handyman or pest control service on speed dial.

8. When was the last time the vacation house was cleaned thoroughly?

Does this seem a bit weird to ask about? It might make you feel a little awkward to ask the home owner such questions but you absolutely need to. You don’t want to end up at your vacation house only to find it needing a good dusting and a whole lot of scrubbing.

9. Is there any clean up required before departure?

Make sure whatever clean up that you are required to do is clearly mentioned in the rental agreement. In some cases, the vacation home renter can be penalized for not cleaning the place up and may have to pay additional fees.

10. What are the complete fees included in the rental?

Most home owners will ask for a security deposit from renters before giving them the keys to the vacation home. Be sure to find out about the refund policy and if any deductions will be made for damage of property. Also, find out about additional fees like cleaning and maintenance.

Tips to Avoid Vacation Rental Scams

One thing you should keep in mind is to never rent a vacation home from a non-reputable website. Make sure you check the website for genuine customer reviews, ask around about the reputation of the website and check whether the website has a long online presence. Always read the reviews before booking a vacation home through a website. Many times, the website will have beautiful pictures and tempting descriptions but only real reviews from past visitors will let you know if you’re in for the real deal or not. Never ever wire cash to your vacation home owner because this is a well-known scam and many people are known to get taken in by fraudsters.

So, make sure to ask these 10 questions if you intend renting a vacation home. It is important to ask these questions to keep nasty surprises at bay, and ensure you have a wonderful and memorable vacation with your loved ones.

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www.Buy2Greece.com – International tourist arrivals up 4% reach a record 1.2 billion in 2015

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014. 

2015 marks the 6th consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post-crisis year of 2010.

“International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world. It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Demand was strong overall, though with mixed results across individual destinations due to unusually strong exchange rate fluctuations, the drop in oil prices and other commodities which increased disposable income in importing countries but weakened demand in exporters, as well as increased safety and security concerns.

“2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and manmade crises in many parts of the world. As the current environment highlights in a particular manner the issues of safety and security, we should recall that tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel. In this respect, UNWTO urges governments to include tourism administrations in their national security planning, structures and procedures, not only to ensure that the sector’s exposure to threats is minimised but also to maximise the sector’s ability to support security and facilitation, as seamless and safe travel can and should go hand in hand”, added Mr Rifai.

Growth in advanced economy destinations (+5%) exceeded that of emerging economies (+4%), boosted by the solid results of Europe (+5%).

By region, Europe, the Americas and Asia and the Pacific all recorded around 5% growth in 2015. Arrivals to the Middle East increased by 3% while in Africa, limited data available, points to an estimated 3% decrease, mostly due to weak results in North Africa, which accounts for over one third of arrivals in the region.

Positive prospects for 2016

Results from the UNWTO Confidence Index remain largely positive for 2016, though at a slightly lower level as compared to  the previous two years. Based on the current trend and this outlook, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals to grow by 4% worldwide in 2016.

By region, growth is expected to be stronger in Asia and the Pacific (+4% to +5%) and the Americas (+4% to +5%), followed by Europe (+3.5% to +4.5%). The projections for Africa (+2% to 5%) and the Middle East (+2% to +5%) are positive, though with a larger degree of uncertainty and volatility.

2015 Regional Results

Europe (+5%) led growth in absolute and relative terms supported by a weaker euro vis-à-vis the US dollar and other main currencies. Arrivals reached 609 million, or 29 million more than in 2014. Central and Eastern Europe (+6%) rebounded from last year’s decrease in arrivals. Northern Europe (+6%), Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) and Western Europe (+4%) also recorded sound results, especially considering the many mature destinations they comprise.

Asia and the Pacific (+5%) recorded 13 million more international tourist arrivals last year to reach 277 million, with uneven results across destinations. Oceania (+7%) and South-East Asia (+5%) led growth, while South Asia and in North-East Asia recorded an increase of 4%.

International tourist arrivals in the Americas (+5%) grew 9 million to reach 191 million, consolidating the strong results of 2014. The appreciation of the US dollar stimulated outbound travel from the United States, benefiting the Caribbean and Central America, both recording 7% growth. Results in South America and North America (both at +4%) were close to the average.

International tourist arrivals in the Middle East grew by an estimated 3% to a total of 54 million, consolidating the recovery initiated in 2014.

Limited available data for Africa points to a 3% decrease in international arrivals, reaching a total of 53 million. In North Africa arrivals declined by 8% and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1%, though the latter returned to positive growth in the second half of the year. (Results for both Africa and Middle East should be read with caution as it is based on limited available data)

China, the USA and the UK lead outbound travel growth in 2015

A few leading source markets have driven tourism expenditure in 2015 supported by a strong currency and economy.

Among the world’s top source markets, China, with double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004, continues to lead global outbound travel, benefitting Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand, as well as the United States and various European destinations.

By contrast, expenditure from the previously very dynamic source markets of the Russian Federation and Brazil declined significantly, reflecting the economic constraints in both countries and the depreciation of the rouble and the real against virtually all other currencies.

As for the traditional advanced economy source markets, expenditure from the United States (+9%), the world’s second largest source market, and the United Kingdom (+6%) was boosted by a strong currency and rebounding economy. Spending from Germany, Italy and Australia grew at a slower rate (all at +2%), while demand from Canada and France was rather weak.

Source:- UNWTO