Archives for category: Europe

Huddersfield-based Air Parade, which traded as Luxury Villa Escapes and Villa Parade, ceased trading yesterday. It mainly sold packages to Spain and Portugal.

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) estimates the firm has up to 70 customers currently abroad, but their holidays should go ahead as normal.

Abta said the firm has around 1300 bookings for future holidays with villa accommodation only. These will be cancelled, although customers will get their money back via Abta’s financial protection scheme.

Around 400 bookings for flight packages will also be cancelled, with refunds paid via the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence scheme.

Villa Parade’s website has been replaced with a page telling customers to contact Abta, or the Civil Aviation Authority if their booking involves a flight.

The firm has been locked in a legal battle with holiday rentals firm Travelopo.Travelopo

Details emerged after some Villa Parade customers received emails from Travelopo telling them their villa bookings were not valid.

Last month, the firm stated that the majority of bookings were “secure and will be fulfilled”


Is there a danger to work with some small holiday rental companies as the competition becomes hard?


The site’s three-step booking procedure and responsive design allows users to view descriptions of apartments, properties and almost 300 local neighbourhoods and book on all platforms.GoNative

Local advice on bars, restaurants, places of interest and ‘secret gems’ are all a part of the company’s move to create apartments which are launch pads from which people can ‘Go Native’ and enjoy a neighbourhood experience.

“It’s a huge project that has finally landed into an industry leading website with live bookings and stunning design, something for us all to feel really proud of and a further demonstration of our ability to lead the way.” Shaun Prime, Managing Director.

Thanks to the site’s new functionality, it’s now possible to search for apartments by price, features and facilities, and even distance from a specified location; the next phase of development includes a Go Native ‘Neighbourhood app’ helping visitors make the most of their stay.

Go Native offers the widest range of all inclusive, ready-to-live apartments that put guests at the heart of the city the minute they arrive – giving them the freedom to make the most of their stay.

For more info, visit their website at

About Go Native
Established in 1997, Go Native is an award winning provider of both short and long term apartments, operating across the UK. Go Native provides travellers with access to a comprehensive network of over 28,000 serviced apartments, all available on a flexible basis. Whether guests are staying for a night, a month or a year, a Go Native apartment offers value quality, privacy and independence.

Furnished apartments for business travelers especially asked in fair cities – mixed concepts from a hotel and boarding house are in trend.

The business travel market is booming in Germany – and so for Serviced Apartments-. With over 1.3 million overnight stays in serviced apartments, the capital Berlin comes first, followed by Munich with 986.000 overnight stays and Hamburg with around 526,000 overnight stays.tophotelprojects

In Berlin there are about 3,700 serviced apartments, about 1,600 in Hamburg and Dusseldorf in just 900. And more apartment buildings will be built according to TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the leading information provider for hotel chains and hotel projects built.
Around 1,100 Serviced Apartment establishments already exist in Frankfurt / Main – and the demand continues rising. According to a study by the company Georg Consulting, there are annually about 360,000 overnight stays in serviced apartments. This corresponds to a market share of around five per cent of all overnight stays in the banking metropolis.

The average lower price for an overnight stay in a serviced apartment after all concepts and stay time is in Frankfurt at 68 euros per night. The average prices range from 80 euros to 200 euros per night. The average operation size in Frankfurt is more manageable with 47 apartments/operation (eg Berlin 56 apartments/operation and Munich 95 apartments/operation).

The last few decades international trend observed an increase of Long Stay Apartments as a result of mobilization and globalization of the economy. Especially workers who must change their location work very often, or for a certain period of time, the so-called “job nomads”, contribute to the Boarding House or Property Serviced Apartments an increasingly important role.

The regional Boarding House markets differ significantly from one another. The reasons for this include the appropriate regional economic structure and thus the trim on specific companies and industries as drivers of the demand for short-term accommodation. In summary shows that the proportion of overnight stays in serviced apartments in banking and trade fair cities are the highest. Most of the times mixed concepts (hotels with built apartments) are made.

The highest market share, measured by the share of overnight stays in serviced apartments in total nights), the global trade fair city of Hanover with 12.6 percent. In Munich, accounts for about eight per cent, accounts for five per cent in Hamburg, Berlin 5.3 percent, 7.1 percent in Stuttgart and Leipzig in 4.6 percent of the total nights on serviced apartments.

Around 80 percent of surveyed providers of serviced apartments estimate the future general market performance as growing. Only about 20 percent expect a constant development. From a market downturn no one assume from the respondents. As for the future in greater demand supply form see 80.5 percent of the surveyed houses a clear trend for mixing concept.

Only a fifth of the surveyed houses keep pure boarding houses for the supply form in the future.


Shifting of the sand in the vacation rental marketplace with confirmation that HouseTrip is scrapping all listings of private rooms from its database


HouseTrip informed hosts of the “important change” to its service via a recent letter in which it said as part of a new focus on couples and families it would be “removing all private bedrooms from our website” and in future only allow entire properties to be listed.

The letter adds: “During this time we will be taking away search functionality for private bedrooms in shared accommodation, and removing them from our search results so they can no longer found by prospective guests.

” Existing bookings or upcoming check-ins will not be affected by the change, HouseTrip adds. HouseTrip says it is currently running at a 95%-5% ratio in favour of complete apartments to shared spaces, so it does not anticipate any major erosion of its overall product spread.

An official says: “We want to be known for providing the best range of complete properties available for short-term rent. And we feel that this clarification of our offering is the best way to do it.” Including shared spaces in its portfolio was found to have “muddied the waters”, the official says. “The feedback we have received from many travellers is ‘yes, I want to get tips and advice from an owner. yes, I want the personal touch. Yes, I may even want to feel like a local.

But when the info is given and the key swapped, I want the apartment to become my space and I don’t necessarily want to become best friends or swap Facebook details with the landlord’.”

The company denies the move is anything to do with recent regulatory or taxation shenanigans affecting the likes of Airbnb or Wimdu which have a focus on shared spaces.

Nevertheless, issues such as these are clearly triggering a fair degree of strategic soul searching for a number of brands as they look to anticipate where around the world they may face hurdles over their ability to operate (or those of their product hosts).

Airbnb, for example, recently celebrated (and potentially breathed a huge sigh of relief) a regulatory win in France when a legislation was introduced allowing home owners to rent out rooms without seeking permission from local authorities.

Its head of global public policy, David Hantman, says some 83% of its hosts in the French capital Paris share their primary residence – in other words, let out a room OR only have the property available for a limited period of time.

HouseTrip’s move possibly illustrates how the main players in the rental/sharing economy are re-positioning themselves as providers of product in one particular area (shared vs complete rental).

A source who until recently worked within one of the main global players in the sharing economy says there is a wider trend emerging: “After seeing good traction and interest in the mass audience, the involved companies are trying to get out of a niche and attack a more established market, providing an experience closer to what hotel customers are used to.

“The peer economy is a nice thing, but there are reasons why hotels and other kind of accommodation facilities need to comply to specific rules… and the private accommodation market is probably trying to anticipate the regulatory movements so that they will be more ready when the time will come.”



This B2B conference for the serviced apartment and extended stay sector is designed to bring together leaders from across this growing sector to learn, share best practice and map the future.

Paul Constantinou _0334(1) Mayer, Diane 2

Paul Constantinou Quest

Diane Mayer Marriott




Buying Business Travel is pleased to be media partner to the Serviced Apartment Summit.

The event starts at 15:00 on July 8 with the opportunity to tour key local properties, followed by a networking cocktail reception at Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living. This is followed by a full-day conference on July 9 at The Montcalm Marble Arch hotel, 34 – 40 Great Cumberland Place, London

There will be networking opportunities with owners, operators, investors and buyers. Keynote speakers, seminars and panel debates will explore a range of topics including:

• Future prospects for the sector

• Capitalising on the corporate business, relocation, leisure and ex-pat markets

• Integrating serviced apartments in to mixed-use developments

• Acquisition strategies and case studies

• Understanding corporate buyer objectives

Serviced Apartment Summit

Hotels in Vienna are fighting back against the trend of private holiday rentals by suggesting that a law should be introduced which would forbid somebody to rent an apartment to holidaymakers in which he is not registered as living. Vienna The Vienna Hotel Association have suggested this stricter regulation as a way to tackle those who buy apartments so they can rent them to tourists on websites such as Airbnb, whilst not paying any taxes to the city nor having the same obligations as hotel owners. In Vienna, there are currently around 1,000 people offering private holiday rentals, a number that is constantly growing. Hotel owners say their business is suffering as a result and are demanding tougher guidelines for private renters. One of the largest community marketplaces on the internet is Airbnb, where somebody can find accommodation in more than 34,000 cities, including more than 600 castles. The prices range from a few euros per night up to 800 Euros, but they never include food or maintenance. According to Airbnb, the offers of accommodation increased by 75 percent last year and the number of users of the service increased by 250 percent. And with the travel season soon to begin in Vienna, the trend of the young travellers, who prefer to hire a room in a private apartment than in a hotel, is likely to increase this year. The Vienna Hotel Association say that owners of the hotels do not have any problems with the people who exchange their homes during their holidays or generally the people who have one apartment and rent a room there. Their proposal for the law, which is similar to one used in Berlin, would tackle those who specifically buy property to rent, or own multiple properties just for the purpose of renting them as holiday rentals. The Vienna Chamber of Commerce on the other hand sees no need to do anything about the private holiday rental market yet, as they believe that the trend will die out soon. Contrary to the belief of The Vienna Chamber of Commerce though, the Airbnb business is currently exploding and the company is one of the most highly valued start-up companies at the moment. Airbnb capital is reported to be at 359 million Euros and there is already an interested buyer looking to purchase the company. Source :

Founded in 2011, 9flats, the Europe-based private housing reservation service has turned profitable.9flats

Roman Bach is the new CEO of the company, and Stephen Uhrenbacher will be the chairman of the advisory board. In 2012, 9flats acquired Canada-based private rental marketplace iStopOver.

Bach says “This segment is the fastest growing business model in online travel.

Achieving profitability is an important step for our further growth. Yet the next years are not only about profits, but also about continued growth.”


Berlin’s reputation as one of Europe’s coolest yet cheapest cities has boosted tourism by 275 per cent in only two decades. But Germany’s capital is preparing to turn its back on budget-flight visitors with new rules which will outlaw cut-price private accommodation.

Legislation which comes into force on 1 January will make it illegal for the owners of Berlin’s estimated 12,000 private holiday apartments to rent them to tourists for short breaks. Those who fail to obey the rules risk being fined €50,000 (£41,700).Berlin

The new laws are both a response to Berlin’s lack of affordable flats for longer-term rentals and an attempt to answer complaints from residents about the influx of weekend visitors to what the director of Berlin’s tourist marketing agency has called “the capital of holiday lets”.

Residents have become incensed by what they claim are noisy, backpacking and unwelcome weekend visitors arriving on Ryanair and easyJet. They are among the record 10 million tourists who will have visited Berlin this year. “They party half the night, use the balconies to call up on their mobile phones all the time, and they dump their household waste and bottles in organic waste bins,” said Daniella Steltzer, a resident of the Charlottenburg district. “I want to live in a residential apartment block, not a cut-price self-catering guesthouse.”

Mrs Steltzer said the problem began three years ago when the owner of one of the small flats adjoining her back garden began renting his rooms to weekend tourists. Since then two more flats have been adapted for holiday lets. “My heart sinks on Fridays when the sound of suitcase wheels heralds new arrivals,” she said.

Berlin’s property owners’ association has criticised the new legislation as an unwarranted attack on free enterprise which will not ease the city’s shortage of longer-term residential accommodation. “The holiday flats amount for a ridiculously small proportion of Berlin’s total accommodation,” said its spokesman, Bernd Strehlow.

Opposition to holiday lets began two years ago when the Green Party held a meeting in an attempt to gauge the strength of feeling about the problem. Hundreds of residents complained they felt the presence of tourists made them feel as if they were “ living in a zoo”. Dirk Behrend, the Green MP who organised the gathering, denied he was attempting to build another Berlin Wall to keep tourists out of the city but said: “We want tourism to be properly organised and controlled.”

Concerns among activists on Berlin’s left-wing alternative scene that the city is being sold out to property speculators has fuelled opposition to holiday rents and led to a marked increase in hostility towards tourists. Ares Kalandides, a Greek-born city guide, recalled the shock he experienced while escorting Israeli journalists earlier this year.

“Suddenly a group of drunken twentysomething men and women started screaming at us,” Mr Kalandides said. “I was shocked, embarrassed and angry, but I’m afraid that’s almost normal in Berlin these days.”

Source :