Vacation rentals, with all of their complex inventory, slowly are going online.
The latest metric came from VacationRoost, which offers consumers a selection of some 100,000 vacation rental properties in 84 ski and beach destinations in North and South America.
The company, based in Salt Lake City, says that more than 60% of its professionally managed vacation rentals can now be booked online "with real-time rates and availability."
VacationRoost is not one of the big names in the vacation rental market.
Still, its growing numbers highlight a trend in which companies small and large, including HomeAway, are making a bigger push toward online bookings of vacation rentals.
Earlier this month, HomeAway acquired Instant Software, which offers ISILink , a Web booking and distribution solution for property managers.
At least some property managers are concerned about HomeAway's acquisition. HomeAway already is the dominant player in rental by owner and could show more muscle with this acquisition in the managed property arena, as well.
Some property managers may also see the Instant Software acquisition as being competitive with initial plans by the Vacation Rental Manager's Association to build a vacation rental switch to enable property managers to bring their inventory online.
Meanwhile, VacationRoost, which had some 50,000 rentals online a year ago, claims to have doubled that number in the interim.
VacationRoost brings managed properties online by establishing direct-connect gateways and electronic connectivity to property managers and aggregators.
Still, online booking of vacation rentals is in a nascent stage.
PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Vacation Rental Market Analysis: 2008-2010, published in September 2010, found that only 18% of vacation rental guests booked exclusively online over the prior year.
Disclosure: The writer does some work with PhoCusWright as a research analyst.