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Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines hospitality.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
How Can Airbnb Guests Live Like Locals if Hosts Are, Well, Corporations? The professionalization of Airbnb may mean cleaner bedsheets and more front desks. But it may also contribute to higher home prices to the detriment of housing-squeezed neighborhoods — and a brand identity that is in dire need of a reboot.
Will Too Many Empty Hotel Rooms in Middle East Require a New Business Model? Third-party management is a relative unknown in the Middle East’s hospitality landscape. The challenge that white-label companies face is convincing owners and operators to relinquish control.
Booking Holdings Makes Good on Resort-Fee Commission Charges: It appears as though big hotel brands that scream the loudest can get a reprieve from Booking.com’s resort-fee commission charges. But that reprieve appears to only be temporary.
Marriott’s Growth in China Helps Buck New Industry Trend: Alibaba does not deserve all of the credit for Marriott’s sustained performance in China over the past year, but the partnership with the e-commerce company shows just how mutually beneficial these kinds of agreements can be.
IHG CEO Draws Line Under Latest Brand Growth Strategy: CEOs don’t like ruling things out entirely, but it sounds like Keith Barr is happy with his brand portfolio … for now at least.
Capturing the Short-Term Rental Ecosystem Beyond Airbnb: New Skift Research: The short-term rental sector is rapidly expanding, and it is not just Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com that benefit from this. A growing ecosystem of property managers and B2B vendors are professionalizing the sector, while making a decent penny.
Choice Hotels Says Comfort’s Property Renovations Are Paying Off: Choice Hotels is showing a lot of patience with its Comfort brands, probably more than a $2.5 billion investment warrants. But early signs suggest it will work out.
Accor’s Franchise Deal in Singapore Underscores Mounting Challenges for Budget Chain Oyo: The one thing budget hotel upstarts have done is make global hotel chains hungrier for their sector, especially high-growth markets such as Southeast Asia. Oyo probably knows this; it has named a CEO for the region.
Red Roof Launches Aggressive Price-Match Guarantee to Boost Direct Bookings: Red Roof’s new best-rate guarantee program provides a strong incentive to anyone who finds a cheaper room rate through a third-party site. With hotel distribution channels tightening up though, consumers may have a hard time finding those deals.
Namibia Lures New Travelers Seeking Desert Solitude: It would be easy to see Namibia’s ascent as a run of great PR, but the country has been playing a long game to attract visitors from around the world. And now there’s both more access and new product to match rising demand from travelers who crave isolation — not to mention social media cred.
Skift Global Forum Preview: Saira Teaches Luxury Hospitality Skills for the Real World: Training the next generation of luxury hotel employees may require more than the old-fashioned schooling that’s been in place for decades.
Getting the Little Things Right in High-End Travel: If you’re pitching yourself as a luxury hotel, you need to make the things inside look nothing less than impeccable. A stray thread here or there could make the difference for some guests.