Skift Take

This week in hospitality, a former Airbnb executive gives the lowdown on what it takes to make it in the short-term rental sector. Plus growth is on the horizon for the small but mighty hotel brand Soneva as two funds plan to invest in an expansion.

Hotel News Weekly Roundup

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 hotels.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

What’ll It Take to Survive in Short-Term Rentals: Former Top Airbnb Exec: People may see short-term rentals as a good get-rich-quick scheme. But according to former Airbnb CFO Laurence Tosi, it’s not a simple business. The most successful companies in the space, he said, are also the most sophisticated.

5 Smart Insights for the Short-Term Rental Industry: The short-term rental market is a long-term growth sector. Yet its dynamics are being upended as professional management becomes popular and online travel companies seek smarter ways to sell the lodging. Here are several takeaways from Skift’s first event to focus on the sector’s opportunities.

Sonder Puts Hilton and Marriott in Its Sights as It Moves Into Hotel Business: CEO Francis Davidson is clearly very, very ambitious — and has identified a path for Sonder to go on and challenge the very biggest names in hospitality.

Marriott’s Foray Into Short-Term Rentals No Longer an Experiment — It’s a Business: Exec: Hospitality giants moving into the short-term rental space hasn’t always gone smoothly. But Marriott’s vice president of Homes & Villas said that the company isn’t getting its feet wet anymore — it’s found a business model that works and wants to grow it.

Behind Airbnb’s Complicated Campaign to Win Trust: In the wake of recent bad publicity and plans to go public in 2020, Airbnb has no choice but to take concerns among users and neighbors seriously. Its recent steps are a good start, but shouldn’t these have been a part of the strategy to begin with?

New Chapter Opens for Asia’s Soneva Hotels With a More Than $200 Million Investment: Can an independent hotel group with just three properties now survive as the industry keeps consolidating? If the brand is Soneva, yes, and new backing is taking it forward.

Accor Sells Half of Its Stake in Huazhu as Chinese Partner Eyes Europe: Has Accor’s partnership with Huazhu worn out its usefulness given the Chinese hotel giant has built a strong positioning in the economy and midscale segments in China? Huazhu now wants to focus on luxury and upper upscale, along with international expansion starting in Europe.

Why Oyo and Rivals May Not Be the Answer for Unchained Hotels in Asia: More than ever before, small independent hotels in Asia are in need of distribution and revenue management solutions. But Oyo and other budget hotel chains aren’t necessarily the ones that will be throwing them that lifeline.

Alternatives to Oyo Surface for Independent Budget Hotels in Asia: If Oyo isn’t the answer for budget hotels, then what is? New players such as Zuzu Hospitality Solutions are entering the Asian market, believing they are it. Whether or not that’s the case, what’s clear is that Asia’s small independent hotels can do with more choices for tech solutions.

Kayak’s Search App Will Soon Let Users Check in to Select Rentals and Hotels: Kayak is making a landmark departure from its current strategy. It will add a tool to its mobile app to let users who book select short-term rentals and boutique hotels through it check in and check out via its app. That moves the travel metasearch player beyond merely listing accommodations to actually providing extra services for guests at partner properties.

Minor International Will Get New Group CEO as Founder Bill Heinecke Plans Succession: Dillip Rajakarier’s biggest achievement is lasting a dozen years with the hugely driven Bill Heinecke, who was once known for short-lived CEOs. Rajakarier earned his stripes well, but if you think Heinecke is retiring — forget it.

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Tags: hospitality, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Laurence "L.T." A. Tosi (left), WestCap founder and managing partner, speaks on stage at Skift Short-Term Rental Summit in New York City on December 5, 2019. Skift

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