Archives for category: Americas

Airbnb has taken the world by storm, but not without controversy.

Just last week the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) announced its plans to fight back against Airbnb’s dubious, unregulated business practices.

The key players in the hospitality industry are taking sides, making arguments, or, at the very least, feeling the impact. There is however, a smaller faction of the lodging industry that is suffering from Airbnb’s success, perhaps more than the other segments: the Bed & Breakfast industry.bnbfinder.com

The letters “BnB” have long been associated with Bed & Breakfasts and/or Country Inns, and as such, Airbnb’s name is causing serious damage to B&B brand identity, and sowing confusion among potential customers. Airbnb properties are not B&B’s at all, but rather a diverse array of short-term rentals.

The definition of a B&B is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodations and breakfast. This is not a new concept by a long shot – B&Bs as they are known today have been around for decades.

Legitimate B&Bs not only serve breakfast, but are also licensed, inspected, and insured in order to protect guests. They are also required to pay a variety of taxes.

Airbnb hosts do none of these things.

A name like B&B cannot be trademarked, which is how Airbnb was able to utilize the name.

The name however is infringing upon an entire industry. In an effort to crack down on unregulated rentals, cities such as New York have made it illegal for residential Class A buildings to have paying guests for fewer than 30 consecutive days. The unintended consequence, however, has been the closure of many beloved, long-running and highly regarded NYC B&Bs.

Unlike the AH&LA, the Bed & Breakfast industry does not have deep pockets nor do they have an incorporated unifying association fighting on their behalf. But that doesn’t mean their argument should not be heard – in fact, B&B industry stakeholders should be yelling the loudest. The power and success of the Airbnb business model is without argument impressive. That said, competition and changing industry landscape is one thing, but suffocating an age-old form of hospitality because of an oversight in regulations and infringing on a brand is quite different.

Peter Scherman and Rick Wolf of The B&B Team, a consultancy, in the bed and breakfast industry with over 20 years of experience.

While recognizing the power of Airbnb in the industry and admiring the success of its business model, Rick and Peter are all too aware that the success coming to Airbnb is largely in part due to the public acceptance of the business model, which they contend is a major part of the brand infringement problem.

Says Scherman: “We believe that all those who participate in Airbnb by providing rentable inventory should be held to the same standards of accountability as those they currently compete with.

The bottom line is that a level playing field honors the uniqueness of new and different places to stay while ensuring that travelers are protected and honest businesses are not hurt by an inequitable environment.”

http://www.tnooz.com

Advertisements

TripAdvisor has announced the acquisition of Massachusetts-based VacationHomeRentals.com for an undisclosed sum.

vacation home rentals

Vacation Home Rentals has 14,000 listings worldwide, and will join TripAdvisor.

Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals: “We’re thrilled to welcome Vacation Home Rentals to the TripAdvisor family. The team delivers a great experience for both homeowners and travelers and the inventory is a valuable addition to our fast-growing business.

This is the second purchase in a year for TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals, as the division acquired Spain’s Niumba a little under a year ago. The division has been steadily snapping up competitors, starting several years back with UK’s Holiday Lettings.

In addition to straight purchases of competitors, TripAdvisor has been pursuing partnerships that allow its consumer reviews to be placed alongside holiday rentals. The division aims to have a comprehensive rentals portfolio that benefits from the wider company’s status as the most visited travel and review site.

The company says that the addition of Vacation Home Rentals brings the vacation rental count to over 550,000 rental properties, including inventory from other portfolio brands like FlipKey.

TripAdvisor signalled its intent to take the vacation rental sector seriously (beyond its previous somewhat piecemeal acquisitions) when it hired Halpin in 2011 to oversee a dedicated division. Halpin was previously president for Europe at Expedia, when the pair were sister companies.

Source : http://www.tnooz.com

Versa Capital Management, LLC (Versa) announced today that its affiliate has acquired BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, the leading international solution for serviced apartment experiences with more than 50,000 corporate apartments in 60 countries. The investment, which follows on the heels of BridgeStreet’s recent rebranding and international growth, will elevate BridgeStreet’s presence and create new opportunities for developing projects and sound long-term growth. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

“BridgeStreet recently has made great strides in establishing itself as the leader of serviced apartment experiences worldwide,” said Gregory L. Segall, CEO of Versa Capital. “Now that the company is strongly capitalized, with no third party debt, it is well positioned to accelerate its growth. We look forward to working with the company’s strong management team to continue building BridgeStreet’s operations and service offerings. By providing travelers worldwide with unparalleled hospitality experiences, delivered through an efficient and customer-centric operating platform, we believe BridgeStreet will create sustainable growth over the long term.”

According to Sean Worker, BridgeStreet CEO, “Versa is the ideal owner for our strategy as it is a firm with the resources and expertise to help us continue to build and grow our business. With the recent launch of BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, the brand is thriving, and we expect it will continue to flourish through this new venture with Versa.”

The launch of BridgeStreet Global Hospitality has introduced an industry-leading family of brands ranging from six- to two-star products, bringing definition to the growing furnished apartment sector by identifying distinct product offerings as individual brand extensions. BridgeStreet’s family of brands includes Exclusive, Residences, ApartHotels, Living, Places and Stüdyo which offer the convenience of apartment living with a variety of service packages to offer each guest options based on location, price point and individual needs.

About Versa Capital Management, LLC

Based in Philadelphia, PA, Versa Capital is a private equity investment firm with over $1.4 billion of assets under management focused on control investments in special situations involving middle market companies where value and performance growth can be achieved through enhanced operational and financial management. Versa’s portfolio includes retailers including Avenue Stores, EMS and Bob’s Stores; restaurants such as Black Angus Steakhouses; community newspapers under Civitas Media; and systems manufacturers such as Bell and Howell. More information can be found at http://www.Versa.com.

About BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

Based in Herndon, VA, and with facilities in 60 countries, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality offers fully furnished properties in key metropolitan locales ideal for business and pleasure that combine the luxuries of spacious apartment living with the benefits of hotel amenities

Source : http://www.fortmilltimes.com/

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today announced the results of its fifth annual vacation rental survey of more than 1,100 U.S. respondents, which shows that 52 percent plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014, up eight percent compared to those who stayed in a rental last year.tripadvisor

The top three reasons travelers will choose a vacation rental over a hotel stay this year are: more living space (67%), lower rates than hotels (53%), and better amenities (50%). Ninety-four percent of U.S. respondents who have previously stayed in a rental said they were satisfied with their experiences.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: -vacation-rental-stays-up-eight-percent-in-2014

@TripAdvisor survey reveals 52% of U.S. travelers planning a vacation rental stay in 2014. Tweet

Families Favor Vacation Rentals

Sixty-one percent said they have booked a rental home when traveling with family or a large group and of those respondents, 48 percent said the main reason they enjoy a rental is spending time together in common living space. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they had an “excellent” vacation rental experience bonding with family.

Travelers Look to Rental for Value

Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. respondents maintain they would stay at a vacation rental instead of another accommodation if it meant saving money; of that group, 27 percent said they would not need to save money to choose a vacation rental over a hotel. Twenty-one percent said they have booked a vacation rental because they were on a budget.

Here’s what travelers plan to spend per night at vacation rentals:

— $100-200: 45%

— $200-300: 22%

— Less than $100: 14%
Settings and Seasons for the Sojourn

Most popular U.S. regions for vacation rental stays in 2014:

— Southeast — 33%

— Northeast and Southwest (tied) — 15%

— Hawaii — 11%
Thirty-two percent will stay at a rental outside of the U.S. and of those traveling internationally, 53 percent will rent in Europe; 30 percent in the Caribbean islands; and 13 percent in Mexico.

The top settings for vacation rental stays in 2014:

— Beach / ocean — 65%

— City — 27%

— Mountains — 18%

— Island and countryside (tied) — 17%

— Lake — 13%
Summer is the most popular season for vacation rentals as 65 percent plan stays between June and August. The most popular months for stays are: July (25%) and October (22%).

Amenities Snapshot

Most popular vacation rental amenities Top “luxury” vacation rental amenities
that attract travelers: that attract travelers:
————————————– ————————————–
Wi-Fi internet access (21%) Amazing view (61%)
————————————– ————————————–
Washer and dryer (18%) Private beach (51%)
————————————– ————————————–
Private pool (16%) Large outdoor deck / patio (49%)
————————————– ————————————–
Outdoor living area (10%) Housekeeping service (29%)
————————————– ————————————–
Professional-grade kitchen (5%) Hot tub (26%)
————————————– ————————————–

“Travelers love vacation rentals for the at-home experience and amenities that make them ideal for family and group trips, not to mention the potential savings when compared to hotels,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “With the increased demand for vacation rentals, the best rental properties book quickly during the peak summer months; therefore travelers should plan as soon as possible to secure the best property for their travel needs.”

TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals

With more than 550,000 listings available, TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals offer travelers access to reviews, extensive details, and photos of properties around the world. For families and large groups traveling for a week or more, a vacation rental can often offer significant savings compared to a hotel.

SOURCE TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor announced the results of its fifth annual vacation rental survey of more than 1,100 U.S. respondents, which shows that 52 percent plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014, up eight percent compared to those who stayed in a rental last year. The top three reasons travelers will choose a vacation rental over a hotel stay this year are: more living space (67%), lower rates than hotels (53%), and better amenities (50%). Ninety-four percent of U.S. respondents who have previously stayed in a rental said they were satisfied with their experiences.vacation rental

Families Favor Vacation Rentals
Sixty-one percent said they have booked a rental home when traveling with family or a large group and of those respondents, 48 percent said the main reason they enjoy a rental is spending time together in common living space. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they had an “excellent” vacation rental experience bonding with family.

Travelers Look to Rental for Value
Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. respondents maintain they would stay at a vacation rental instead of another accommodation if it meant saving money; of that group, 27 percent said they would not need to save money to choose a vacation rental over a hotel. Twenty-one percent said they have booked a vacation rental because they were on a budget.

Here’s what travelers plan to spend per night at vacation rentals:
$100-200: 45%
$200-300: 22%
Less than $100: 14%
Settings and Seasons for the Sojourn
Most popular U.S. regions for vacation rental stays in 2014:
Southeast – 33%
Northeast and Southwest (tied) – 15%
Hawaii – 11%

Thirty-two percent will stay at a rental outside of the U.S. and of those traveling internationally, 53 percent will rent in Europe; 30 percent in the Caribbean islands; and 13 percent in Mexico.

The top settings for vacation rental stays in 2014:
Beach / ocean – 65%
City – 27%
Mountains – 18%
Island and countryside (tied) – 17%
Lake – 13%
Summer is the most popular season for vacation rentals as 65 percent plan stays between June and August. The most popular months for stays are: July (25%) and October (22%).

Amenities Snapshot
Most popular vacation rental amenities that attract travelers: Top “luxury” vacation rental amenities that
attract travelers:
Wi-Fi internet access (21%)   Amazing view (61%)

Washer and dryer (18%) Private beach (51%)

Private pool (16%) Large outdoor deck / patio (49%)

Outdoor living area (10%)  Housekeeping service (29%)

Professional-grade kitchen (5%)   Hot tub (26%)

“Travelers love vacation rentals for the at-home experience and amenities that make them ideal for family and group trips, not to mention the potential savings when compared to hotels,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “With the increased demand for vacation rentals, the best rental properties book quickly during the peak summer months; therefore travelers should plan as soon as possible to secure the best property for their travel needs.”

Source : : http://www.traveldailynews.com