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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.
Wyndham Is Expanding Overseas With Biggest Gains in Southeast Asia: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts took drastic measures last year, buying La Quinta Holdings and splitting from its parent company. It had a mixed third quarter, but the company promises to keep pushing into new territory, especially outside the U.S.
Facebook Removes Airbnb Host Group That Ridiculed Guests: When guests stay in short-term rentals, they shouldn’t have to worry that hosts might be sharing their intimate photos and personal information on Facebook, whether it be in nominally private groups or not. Airbnb, Vrbo, Facebook, and others need to be more vigilant so that their hosts aren’t violating privacy policies on their platforms or elsewhere.
Airbnb Attempts to Ban Party Houses After Multiple Deaths in California Shooting: House parties and out-of-control guests are the scourge of Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. The industry has to fix this — fast.
All of Oyo’s Brands Explained: New Skift Research: Oyo’s multi-brand strategy speaks to its ambition to expand out of the budget category it started in. For now most of these brands are concentrated in India, which serves as a test market for Oyo. It will be interesting to watch how these regional offerings fare and evolve to fit into foreign markets.
Airbnb Invests in Tiqets for Experiences That Are Not, Well, Unique: Airbnb may never become a clone of its online travel agency competitors, but it will eventually go more mainstream to attract a wider range of travelers and locals, as the Tiqets investment suggests.
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.
Vacasa Nets $319 Million in Backing for Vacation Rental Management: Short-term rental companies can’t believe their luck. Private equity and venture capital continue to pour into their sector despite a hot market. Vacasa has remained an investor darling, in part, because it has branched into opening real estate brokerages to help boost the supply of units.
Short-Term Rental Company Altido to Ramp Up Dealmaking as Antidote to Market Pressures: Altido, a short-term property management group based in Europe, plans to grow through bite-size mergers in 2020. Its new CEO seems right in saying that the dynamics driving the company’s strategy speak to larger dynamics in the sector.
Sykes Cottages Sold for $480 Million in a Bet on Tech-Led Short Term Rentals: The deal gives a nice return to private equity firm Livingbridge, which bought Sykes in 2015 for about $75 million. What makes Sykes Cottages stand out is that it has fully built almost all of its technology on its own and has almost 80 percent direct bookings. New majority stakeholder Vitruvian is now placing a bet on short-term rentals.
Fosun Swoops on Thomas Cook Brand Names: Given Fosun’s desire to help keep Thomas Cook afloat, the news shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since the Chinese company’s Foliday ecosystem features the storied brand name.
Thomas Cook’s Nordic Business Gets New Owners: Even though Thomas Cook Group is no longer around, parts of the company live on. The Nordic business was pretty profitable, crucially has strong local brands and isn’t weighed down by an extensive store network. It’s easy to see how it can be a success in the future.
The Wide World of Luxury Alternative Accommodation Models: As more companies enter the luxury vacation rental business, the need to serve up a unique selling proposition becomes increasingly vital. But it’s also key to stay true to that original mission point, even as a company grows.
Fountain Raises $23 Million for Hospitality Recruitment: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week, travel startups announced more than $437 million in funding. Blockchain-based identify management, hospitality worker recruitment, airline distribution, attractions ticketing, and short-term rental property management were some of the hot concepts attracting investors.
Can a Fast-Growing Oyo Patch Up the Early Cracks? It’s raining doubts on Oyo Hotels & Homes, a far cry from the awe that was poured on its founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal when he came in six years ago brandishing the simple belief that “everyone deserves a beautiful living space.” Can Oyo fix its apparent shortfalls?