The online holiday rental portal, HomeAway, recently carried out a study on the various features and services offered by holiday rental accommodations in the six main European countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal and Spain, which together represent 47% of the total market in Europe. Included among the characteristics analysed are accessibility for the disabled, the acceptance of pets, and the suitability for stays with children, while the services include Internet access, the availability of a barbecue, parking, swimming pool, etc.

With regards to accessibility, El Mundo reported that Portugal leads the ranking with 18% of their rentals adapted and suitable, which is 11 percentage points above the European average (7%). Spain, with 14%, is the second destination where it is easier to find accommodations easily accessible for disabled guests, followed by Italy and France, both with 8%.

As far as the acceptance of pets is concerned, as well as the suitability of the rental accommodations for holidays with children, the European average for these aspects is 31% and 45%, respectively. In this respect, only 27% of Spain’s holiday rental homes are pet friendly, far behind the percentages for the United Kingdom (43%) and Italy (38%), while 51% of Spain’s holiday accommodations are suitable for families, following Portugal at the top of the ranking with 68%, Germany (62%) and France (55%).

In the category of services offered, the holiday rental portal reported that Spain is at the forefront in terms of the percentage of homes that have air conditioning (42%), swimming pool (57%) and a washing machine (79%). However, Internet connectivity continues to be the issue for the country, which remains at 51%, below the European average of 53% and far from its neighbouring country, Portugal, which leads for this service, with 61% of their rental homes having Internet access.

France tops the ranking for availability of barbecues, with over half of their rentals having one, and 69% of their homes have a dishwasher. Germany ranks highest for satellite television (82%), as well as for parking, where up to 67% of their homes have a garage.

Another area analysed by HomeAway is the type of accommodation, including those classified as luxurious. Portugal ranks in first place, with 6% of luxury accommodation, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany (both 4%) and Spain (3%, same as the European average). However, if the total numbers of this type of accommodation are taken into consideration, then Spain rises to second place in the ranking, with more than 3,400 luxury holiday accommodations, behind France, which has nearly 4,000, and ahead of Germany which has more than 1,700.