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What do you do when you’re a short-term rental operator during peak travel season in a busy market with regulatory restrictions? Try a pop-up property.

What do you do when you’re a short-term rental operator during peak travel season in a busy market with regulatory restrictions?

London-based Altido, which typically provides hospitality management for homes, serviced apartments, and hotels, has a solution: It operates pop-up hotels, temporary, seasonal accommodation for cities that need it.

And it has a straightforward source to acquire these properties: student accommodation. 

“We started doing this in 2019 with student homes in Edinburgh, and it was called Altido affordable,” said Francesco Morgante, head of sales and distribution at Altido.  “The idea is to take advantage of great locations that are completely empty in July and August.”

Morgante called it the “win-win-win” situation where the landlords are happy that their asset isn’t sitting empty for two months, tourists are happy they get three-star hotel-like lodging at affordable rates and Altido is glad to operate and manage these rentals. There is another win: The city isn’t offended as the arrangement doesn’t take inventory away from long-term housing. 

Certain premises like these purpose-built student accommodations are exempt from short-term rental licensing in Scotland.

When the company started doing this in 2019, the same year it was founded, it ran only one pop-up hotel in Edinburgh, and today it has five. And it’s a profitable proposition. 

Less so in other markets like York, UK, or Dublin, Ireland. 

“We monitor the market and do our research to see if we are hitting our break even point, only then we go ahead and do it,” Morgante said. 

For instance, hotels in Dublin were full last year housing Ukrainians fleeing the war. That directed hotel demand towards rentals. This year Dublin isn’t doing so well for Altido, thanks to the weather. 

Next year Altido will operate similar pop-up accommodations out of student housing in Madrid, Spain, and Venice, Italy. 

Pick Services Responsibly

Rent Responsibly, an educational platform for short-term rentals, is now offering a customizable menu of support services catering to vacation rental alliances all across the United States. This new approach allows vacation rental alliances to cherry-pick individual services, such as website development, email management, virtual events, campaign design, brand identity design, leadership development, and membership dues processing, to suit their specific needs.

Richmond Regulates

Short-term rental zoning strategy in Richmond, Virginia is entering its final stages, as the city council reviews the last two pieces introduced in an administration bill this week. The proposed ordinance aims to permit short-term rentals, which are often booked through popular platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, in any residential district. Additionally, the bill proposes an increase in permitting fees for operating these short-term rentals. Another bill focuses on the regulation of small housing units, known as accessory dwelling units (ADUs). It seeks to allow the construction of ADUs on single-family lots in any residential zone throughout the city without requiring special permission.

Airbnb for Outdoors

LandTrust.com, self-described as “Airbnb for outdoor recreation,” has blocked public access on roads that cross their properties in Idaho. Backed by two Texas billionaire brothers — Dan and Farris Wilks —  the website connects outdoor enthusiasts with private landowners, offering access to their properties for activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and bird watching in exchange for a fee. 

While some experts express concern over the affiliation with the Wilks brothers, who have faced criticism for restricting public access, others see potential benefits for struggling farmers and ranchers who make up the majority of the landowners using the platform. LandTrust was founded in 2019 and is based in Montana. LandTrust founder and CEO Nic De Castro said service is a win-win for outdoor enthusiasts and landowners, the majority of whom De Castro said are “owner/operator, multigenerational farms and ranches.”

Chattanooga Cooling Off

Following the expiration of Chattanooga’s year-long moratorium on some vacation rentals, the city has received 38 new applications in the past two weeks. This figure is lower than what some officials had initially expected. Chris Anderson, Mayor Tim Kelly’s senior adviser for legislative initiatives, suggests that the relatively low number of applications might indicate an oversaturation in the short-term vacation rental market. 

Out of the total 38 applications received, 30 pertain to absentee rentals, where the property owner doesn’t reside on-site, while the remaining eight are for homestay rentals, where the owner lives on the property. The city’s temporary pause on applications exclusively impacted new absentee permits. Interestingly, all these new applications were submitted within the past week, and none were received in the immediate week following the moratorium’s expiration on July 10.

Around the World

Amidst extreme temperatures and forest fires in Greece and Italy, politicians are reassuring tourists that their holidays can continue safely. The heat waves and wildfires have led to evacuations and disruptions, but tourism ministers in Italy and Greece emphasize that only a small portion of affected areas are tourist destinations. 

They assure visitors that the majority of locations remain safe and accessible. Concerns about extreme weather and climate change are growing, but surveys show that it currently ranks low on vacationers’ decision-making criteria. However, the tourism industry may need to adapt its strategies in the future. While some tourist-heavy countries like Greece are promoting year-round tourism, policymakers are starting to recognize the need to address climate change’s impact on the tourism sector. 

The industry aims to become greener, but more summers with extreme weather may alter travel patterns, with potential shifts towards mountain destinations due to milder conditions.

Nights in Paris

Airbnb operators in Paris are looking forward to a lucrative season with the Summer Olympics in 2024. According to a study by Deloitte commissioned by Airbnb and published in April, prices for the Île-de-France (Paris) region will rise 85% during the Games. And tourists seem ready to pay the price. 

The study reveals that Airbnb’s economic impact on France during the Olympics is projected to exceed €1 billion ($1.1 billion). This includes revenue generated by hosts, profits for the hospitality industry and local businesses, and indirect effects on different sectors of the economy. Moreover, municipalities and tax authorities are expected to receive around €70 million ($77.6 million) in tax revenues as a result of Airbnb’s operations during the event. 

France has already imposed a limit of 120 days per year for short-term rental properties. But some municipalities are choosing to regulate further. 

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