Short-term rental apartments – an opportunity for hotel operators
In most European cities hotel operators have been complaining about the competition from short-term rental apartments; it is a fact that the easy (or non-existent) legal framework allows to invest and operate apartments at a much lower cost than a hotel room, generating an unfair competition. On the other hand, there is a demand that simply prefers to stay in apartments for many reasons: large families, groups of friends, people just wanting to stay in a non-standard accommodation.
Hotel operators can continue to complain, but short-term rental apartments are here to stay. In our opinion one shouldn’t demand the same legal requirement as a hotel for short-term rental apartments; on the contrary, hotel operators have a great opportunity to demand a simplification in the process of opening and running a hotel (ie making it similar to a short-term rental apartment), thus lowering the initial investment and the operation cost.
On a day-to-day basis, there is also an opportunity, one that Accor has already tapped into having acquired Onefinestay (a luxury short-term rental apartment’s operator) and negotiating the acquisition of Travelkeys, an Airbnb competitor.
Hotel operators, even independent ones, can also profit from this growing market; they can also invest in apartments in their catchment area and rent them out. This way guest can benefit from the 24-hour hotel reception, perhaps even from other hotel services and the apartments can be operated under the supervision of the existing hotel management.
Even if the hotel operator is not willing to invest, they can simply provide the services (brand, reservations, check-in check-out, cleaning and maintenance) to individual apartment owners who do not wish to operate it.
The short-term rental apartment market, as any emerging one, tends to mature and to be more professional; hotel operators, with their expertise, have a key role to play…and to profit.
Luis Pedro Carmo Costa