Even though Airbnb is the 900-pound gorilla in the rental room, the fact is that there are dozens of other companies in the alternative accommodations space. They include the early pioneers like Vrbo (founded 1995) and more recent players, including Altido, Vacasa, and serviced-apartment companies like Lyric and Sonder. That’s not to mention the high-end home-and-villa-sharing options that major hotel companies, like Accor and Marriott, have added to their rosters.

Even with this host of players, there is still room in the market for truly innovative concepts. As Skift contributor Samantha Shankman reports in today’s New Luxury, however, the challenge is that once a company decides to take on funding, the need for speedy growth may result in diluting the points of differentiation. Small players that hope to survive have to evolve their models — but not upend them.

For more on the fast-changing world of the alternative accommodations sector, head to the first-ever Skift Short-Term Rental Summit on December 5 in New York City. Key players in the sector will be on hand for networking and insightful discussion.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at lp@skift.com or tweet me @dailysuitcase.

— Laura Powell, Skift Luxury Editor

5 Looks at Luxury

Laura - Plum Guide

The Plum Guide is one of several competitors in the luxury short-term rental sector. Photo: The Plum Guide

Small Luxury Rental Companies Seek Differentiation From the Big Guys: Luxury short-term rentals sit at the intersection of old-world hospitality, expert-led curation, and innovative new-world tech, but they’ll need unique models to stand apart in the rapidly growing alternative accommodations sector.

Jet Lag App Makes Move on Asia’s Hotels and Airlines: Timeshifter, brandishing NASA-approved science, wants to revolutionize how the travel industry helps guests fight jet lag. The science has won consumers over — and is a no-brainer for airlines. But in Asia’s cutthroat hotel business, how it can integrate the app into different branded programs is perhaps a different science.

Peninsula Parent’s Thailand Dispute Shows Perils of Owner-Chain Relations: This is a high-profile case that pits a powerful Thai family against a reputable global luxury hotel brand. It also spotlights the reality that this won’t be the last of owner-and-chain disputes, especially not when times are getting harder.

Switzerland Luring More Asians for Winter Holidays: Asia’s snow holiday market keeps growing, and Switzerland, a first mover in this opportunity, is benefiting. Japan, however, remains the most popular winter holiday destination for Asians by far.

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Skift Luxury Editor Laura Powell [lp@skift.com] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Photo Credit: One of the luxury rentals offered by Onefinestay in Beverly Hills, California. Onefinestay