Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Short-Term Rentals

Vacasa Announces Reverse Stock Split

9 months ago

Property manager Vacasa announced its intent to conduct a one-for-20 reverse stock split that’s geared to get its share price higher than $1 per share and therefore to be continued to trade on Nasdaq.

A vacation rental that Vacasa manages. Source: Vacasa

Its shares were trading for $0.48 midday on Friday.

The reverse stock split, authorized by the Vacasa board of directors September 1, would go into effect before midnight October 2, the company said. Vacasa’s split-adjusted shares would start trading on the stock market the next day.

Several companies, including Sonder, which went public via SPACs and have seen their share prices dip below $1 have similarly announced reverse stock splits.

Short-Term Rentals

Oman Tourism Opens the Way for Approved Short-Term Rentals

2 years ago

UnderTheDoormat Group CEO Merilee Karr said her company’s new technology and distribution agreement with Visit Oman can be a novel approach to short-term regulation — one where technology can spur governments to embrace the sector rather than shun it.

UnderTheDoormat CEO Merilee Karr and Shabib Al Maamari, managing director, Visit Oman, signed a a short-term rental distribution partnership last month at the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in Muscat, Oman. Source: Oman Ministry of Heritage and Tourism

Through an agreement signed last month in Muscat, Oman, government-approved property listings delivered through the UK’s UnderTheDoormat Group’s Hospira property management and distribution platform were live in November in time for the World Cup in Qatar.

Oman already offered had short-term rentals through hotel licenses and from a variety of players on big global platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com.

But Karr said the tech partnership breaks new ground, officially opens the market, and provides Oman with the transparency it sought about an otherwise-fragmented sector.

Property developers, hospitality companies, small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), and eventually individually owned short-term rentals that are licensed can connect their properties through Hospira to access the market, and the major global platforms, she said.

The Visit Oman-UnderTheDoormat Group pact is exclusive, Karr said.

Like others in the Middle East, Oman is trying to develop a more diversified tourism economy.

“Through the Visit Oman gateway, the Hospiria platform will provide an efficient launching point for Omani companies, SMEs, and property owners to place their apartments, villas and homes onto the short-term rental market globally,” said Sahib Al Mamari, managing director of Visit Oman, as part of the announcement. “This latest Visit Oman initiative with UnderTheDoormat falls in line with the broader, existing Oman Tourism Vision 2040 strategy, and serves to shift the Sultanate of Oman towards a more diversified and developed tourism economy, and one that leverages digital innovation and technology to maximize value for the Omani tourism market, as well as the tourism-related SME economy in Oman.”

Short-Term Rentals

Short-Term Rental Firm RedAwning Bought Channel Manager Lexicon Travel Technologies

2 years ago

California-based RedAwning announced it acquired channel manager Lexicon Travel Technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

redawning vacation rentals
A vacation rental in the RedAwning portfolio. Source: RedAwning

Channel managers have tech systems to assist accommodations in distributing their properties to websites such as Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking, and sometimes to global distribution systems, among other outlets.

“After we made the decision to sell our business, we looked for a company that would create true synergies with our existing value proposition,” said Joel Inman, CEO and founder of Lexicon. “As I got to know the RedAwning platform, I realized they have already solved many of the technical challenges Lexicon has been facing. RedAwning brings true technology and automation to channel management that delivers value through higher conversion with essentially zero manual work.”

RedAwning has a portfolio of some 15,000 managed and independent short-term rentals in North America, and already provides channel management services as it places them on websites such as Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, and Google Travel.

RedAwning hopes to pick up the channel management client roster of Lexicon Travel Technologies, which is headquartered in Park City, Utah. RedAwning is buying Lexicon’s channel management tech.

RedAwning said most of Lexicon’s clients have already related their intentions to use Red Awning for channel management.

“The transitions will be seamless for all of our new clients, as RedAwning already supports all of the same PMS (Property Management System) platforms as Lexicon and all of the channels too, as well as many more for Lexicon clients to join,” said RedAwning CEO Tim Choate in the announcement.

Earlier this week, property management tech company TravelNet Solutions said it acquired Rented, a revenue management company focusing on short-term rentals.

Tourism

UAE Developer Nakheel Secures $4.6 Billion Financing to Develop Dubai Islands 

2 years ago

Dubai-based property developer Nakheel announced it has secured $4.6 billion in strategic financing deal to drive what it calls, “the new phase of growth.”

The amount includes refinancing of $3 billion, and additional funds of $1.6 billion.

The developer of Palm Jumeirah said that the finance would be utilised to accelerate the development of its new projects including Dubai Islands and other large waterfront projects.

Looking to redefine the concept of waterfront living, Nakheel announced its plan to develop another man-made island — Dubai Islands — situated along the emirate’s northern coastline, comprising five islands over a total area of 17 square kilometres.

The property developer said Dubai Islands would be home to over 80 resorts and hotels, including luxury and wellness resorts, boutique, family and eco-conscious hotels.

This year, Nakheel announced that it would also relaunch and rebrand Palm Jebel Ali, a project that has been left dormant since 2009.

Recently, one of the mansions at the Palm Jumeirah sold for $82 million, pegging it to be the most expensive house sale ever in Dubai.

The $4.6 billion financing reflects the confidence of the banking institutions in the strategic new focus of the company, a Nakheel spokesperson said.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Nakheel said that it has invested in building a strong assets portfolio and pipeline of new developments in the last two years.

The company attributed the robust growth of the Dubai real estate sector to regulatory reforms, such as the issuance of long-term visas, and an economy buoyed by the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Short-Term Rentals

Vacasa Appoints TurnKey Co-Founder as Chief Operating Officer

2 years ago

Just five weeks after Rob Greyber became CEO of Vacasa, the board has shaken up the leadership ranks anew, including naming TurnKey co-founder John Banczak chief operating officer, effective immediately.

Vacasa vacation home in Camp Connell, California
Vacasa vacation home in Camp Connell, California. Source: Vacasa

TurnKey was Vacasa’s main rival among property management companies in North America until Vacasa bought Turnkey for $619 million in April 2021.

John Banczak. Source: Vacasa

Banczak will supervise Vacasas’s field and central operations teams, the company said Friday in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Banczak had served as Vacasa’s chief strategy officer.

In other moves, Greyber, who formerly headed Egencia for Expedia Group, will add chief product officer to his current CEO duties on an interim basis. Michael Xenakis, Vacasa’s chief product officer, will leave the company at the end of the month, Vacasa stated.

Vacasa led its announcement about executive changes with the promotion of Chief Operating Officer Craig Smith to the role of chief commercial officer. Smith had become Vacasa’s chief operating officer in early 2021.

In his new role as chief commercial officer, Smith will also assume Michael Dodson’s responsibilities as chief revenue officer. Vacasa said Dodson will exit the company in early November.

Some 10 months ago, Vacasa closed its first day of trading on Nasdaq in a blank check merger on December 7, 2021 at $9.84 per share, and closed trading Friday at $3.25.

Vacasa generated $9.94 million in net income in the second quarter, which ended June 30, on revenue of $310 million, a 31 percent year over year increase.

The property management company, the largest in North America, raised its 2022 revenue and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) guidance in August, and projected adjusted earnings profitability in 2023.

Short-Term Rentals

U.S. Vacation Rental Demand Is ‘Quickly’ Decelerating: Report

2 years ago

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the U.S. is still growing, but the pace has “started to decelerate quickly,” according to a report from property manager Evolve.

Property manager Evolve’s office, as seen in 2017. Evolve

That was a major finding in Evolve’s report, Vacation Rental Industry Trends: Summer 2022.

While vacation rental demand was up 32 percent year over year in January 2022, it slowed to 9 percent growth in May, the report found.

At the same time, supply of vacation homes in the U.S. is holding steady, if not accelerating. Evolve said vacation rental supply growth stood at 10 percent in January 2022, and in May it notched 12 percent growth.

“This means the economic environment is beginning to impact summer travel demand, and there will be more vacation homes vying for fewer guest bookings overall,” Evolve stated.

Asked whether the slowing demand growth might cause Evolve to do a restructing, including layoffs, co-founder and CEO Brian Egan said there have been no layoffs.

“No, quite the opposite, we’re continuing to grow rapidly,” Egan said. “Relative to any pre-pandemic time period, 2022 has been an incredible year for demand, and the impact of the macroeconomy is showing up in modest ADR (Average Daily Rate) compression year over year. It’s not threatening the fundamentals of occupancy that really drive the economics of our business.”