BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Hotel groups including Hyatt and IHG are investing in home-sharing start-ups and digital initiatives in an attempt to tackle the threat posed by Airbnb.
Onefinestay, a London firm that lets people stay in high-end expensive locations around the world, has announced $40 million of new funding from a range of top investors with global operator Hyatt reportedly among them.
Unlike Airbnb, Onefinestay picks only the “finest properties” which it cleans and maintains and provides a 24/7 concierge service. It operates in London, Los Angeles, New York and Paris.
According to The FT Wyndham Hotels, whose brands include Ramada and Travelodge, has a stake in another London-based start-up called LoveHomeSwap – a subscription service that allows homeowners to swap their properties.
Last month, IHG launched a series of mobile and in-hotel digital technology pilots which included a partnership with Stay.com, an Oslo-based firm that offers digital tourist guides.
These investments follow the rise of Airbnb among business travellers. Last year the San Francisco based company said around 10 per cent of its customers were corporate and is looking to grow that market and has partnered with travel and expense company Concur.
Airbnb has been attacked from traditional hoteliers including Accor and NH Hotels who have concerns over health and safety regulations.
Airbnb has more than 1.5 million homes on its site, which means it offers more rooms then global hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton.
It emerged last week that Airbnb was on the brink of raising $1.5 billion at a valuation of $24 billion.
Read an interview with Airbnb business travel lead Marc McCabe.