With news that the global leader in cloud-based hospitality business intelligence, OTA Insight, has acquired Transparent, who track 35 million short-term rentals, there are clear signs that the hospitality landscape has shifted. Hotels and short-term rentals, as well as their strategic visibility and hospitality data provision, are converging.
For consumers, the historical distinction between hotels and short-term rental accommodation may be apparent, but for the hotel and vacation rental sectors, these lines are becoming a lot more blurred.
As vacation rental supply and demand continue to burgeon, traditional hospitality business models and their competitive understanding have had to evolve; as have the businesses that support them. Now, as the sector transitions through its greatest reckoning, and new trends in hospitality demand begin to emerge, the convergence of short-term rentals and hotel accommodation looks set to continue.
Hotels & short-term rentals adapted through the pandemic
Consumer demand for short-term rentals has been steadily rising since their inception into the hospitality sector and this has now been accelerated by the pandemic. Consumers felt that short-term rentals provided a safer and more sufficient way to travel.
With fewer touch points and limited contact, there was considerably less opportunity to contract Covid within the confines of a short-term rental property. Work from home mandates, and online schooling meant that people could travel for longer periods, leading to a rise in business leisure travel, or bleisure, as it has become known. This in-turn impacted traveller requirements and expectations. Furthermore, with more freedom and more flexibility in the workplace expected to be one of the lasting by-products of the pandemic, bleisure travel is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. But what does this mean for hotels, and in particular those who have traditionally relied on business travel as one of their biggest performance drivers?
Hotels & short-term rentals are converging
Short-term rentals are competing with hotels for corporate business, and there is growing demand for professionally managed accommodation options, with hotel-like standards. The pandemic has shown that short-term rental businesses are beginning to standardise their services and operations to mirror hotels.
Likewise, hotels are seeing an opportunity to tap into this demand by investing in properties and apartments that can provide their level of service within the framework of rentals; adopting them into their brand as aparthotels. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for hotels to explore the short-term rental arena, introduce extended-stay packages, and there is now evidence of more and more overlap. We have seen hotel chains offer short-term rental options, and property managers of vacation rentals are looking more and more towards adopting similar services, structure and commercial strategies as hotels. This blend of hotel and vacation rentals means that traditional compsets have shifted.
And then there’s the industry’s supportive businesses: suppliers, vendors and services. Distribution channels that once catered for either one, or the other sector, now provide channels for both. Airbnb, which started out offering homeowners a platform to list their homes to travellers looking for alternative accommodation, also now lists boutique hotels. Similarly, Booking.com and Expedia, nowadays list vacation rentals as well as hotels, giving consumers more choice to shop cross-sector on their channels.
As the competitive space becomes increasingly blended, hotels and short-term rentals will need to be able to benchmark their performance even more effectively across the whole accommodation provision.
A data-driven solution through hospitality data
In an industry looking to rebound, the convergence of hotels and vacation rentals means that it is even more important to understand the market and implement a comprehensive commercial strategy. A holistic commercial strategy needs to be based on actionable data sets that provide granular insights into the rapidly evolving competitive landscape. It’s clear that the pre-established foundations and assumptions that supported this hospitality landscape no longer apply. In a highly competitive market, revenue and property managers need to be able to make smarter business decisions based on unbounded consumer options to optimise the revenue of their listing.
With data from both the hotel and vacation rental space, there is greater opportunity to better understand the competitive landscape that you are currently operating in. Hospitality providers will be able to draw insights from a much more comprehensive data pool, enabling them to decipher post-pandemic demand patterns across their true comp sets.
Correlations between the sectors shed light on trends and opportunities. How does short-term rental pricing reflect hotel rate trends? Are there echoes from hotel occupancy in vacation rental demand? Understanding the full picture ad relationship facilitates better commercial decision making and the ability to be more dynamic with rate strategies, and yield more revenue.
Empowered with supply visibility to understand comp sets and distribution behaviour, plus rate comparison and demand insight to optimise return, data adopters stand to make more. Data insights that focus on just one or the other may not be able to provide the level of market intelligence needed to inform a complete commercial strategy.
Hospitality data continues to converge along with hotels & short-term rentals
We know that the post-pandemic traveller is looking for more experiential, long-stay options, and seeks value in home-away-from-home accommodation options. While safety might have been at the forefront in the minds of most travellers during the peak of the pandemic, weight is now shifting towards better experiential value, centred around personal touches, amenities, service and interaction.
As hospitality providers look to re-engineer their guest experience, the acquisition of Transparent by OTA Insight provides the scope to integrate a huge wealth of quality data insights and market intelligence – all centred around the convergence between the hotel and short-term vacation rental industry.
For an industry in transformation, the combination of OTA Insight and Transparent will offer the world’s most comprehensive hotel and short-term rental data platform, delivering powerful data and analytics and a clear, data-driven path towards recovery.
You can learn more about hotel data with OTA Insight or vacation rental data with Transparent below: