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Posts from October 2017.

This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending October 20, 2017 is below. Short-term rentals feature prominently is this week’s Update.

Short-Term Rental Platforms Not Target of Hong Kong Regulators [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Hong Kong says online rental platforms not target of regulation, MLex, October 20, 2017)
Secretary of Home Affairs, Lau Kong-wah, clarified last week that short-term rental platforms (e.g. Airbnb) are not the target of Hong Kong’s Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance. Under the Ordinance, hosts offering accommodations for a fee for 28 or fewer continuous days are required to obtain a license. Platforms facilitating the booking of such accommodations are not regulated under the Ordinance. In recognition of the difficulty of identifying and then regulating unlicensed hosts, Hong Kong regulators are asking platforms to assist in identifying and de-listing unlicensed accommodations and at the same time proposing changes to the Ordinance to make unlicensed facility owners criminally liable for violations.

Julie Eisenhauer is a guest author and a CPA at Clark Nuber PS.

Revenue is an important indicator of a hotel property’s financial health. It is used to analyze and interpret financial results using key industry operating metrics ( i.e., average daily rate [ADR] and revenue per available room [RevPAR]).

Revenue may also drive the calculation of certain costs, such as management fees, franchise fees, capital improvement reserves, marketing fees and business taxes, as these are often calculated based on a percentage of revenue. As a result, owners and operators need to be aware of changes coming in financial reporting standards related to revenue recognition effective January 1, 2018 (public companies) and January 1, 2019 (private companies).

This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending Friday, October 13, is below. This week’s Update features stories on short-term rentals (or should I say hotels?), OTAs and loyalty. I hope you enjoy.

Airbnb To Introduce Branded “Lodging” Concept [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Airbnb Experiments With Hotel-Like Concept Outside Orlando," Skift Travel News, October 12, 2017)
For some time now people have speculated as to when (if ever) large distributors might bypass their suppliers all together and enter the lodging business themselves. For those of you who doubted that the day would ever come, let me introduce you to “Niddo powered by Airbnb.” Airbnb announced plans last week to partner with Florida boutique hotel and residential developer, Newgard Development Group, to develop an apartment building outside Orlando, Florida, that will be designed, built and operated to facilitate tenants’ short-term rentals. Tenants who elect to share their residences will be automatically enrolled in Airbnb’s Friendly Building Program (under which commissions are shared with the building’s owner) and will be permitted to share their residences for up to 180 days each year. Features of the planned building include (i) a hotel-like front desk with front desk staff, (ii) shared common areas purpose built for both residents and short-term renters and (iii) in-house cleaning and linen services. Newgard intends to do more of these dedicated short-term rental facilities throughout the South if this first Orlando project is successful.

This week’s short OTA Update for the week ending Friday, October 6 is below. Distribution, loyalty and short-term rentals are featured in this week’s Update.

Airbnb Continues Its Push for Business Travelers with Partnership with WeWork [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Airbnb Aims for Business Travelers with its New WeWork Partnership," Fortune Magazine, October 6, 2017)
Fortune Magazine reported last week on plans by Airbnb to partner with WeWork to provide Airbnb users the ability to book nearby workspace or meeting room facilities. While details of the confirmed partnership have yet to be released, the two platforms apparently began testing the partnership this past week in several key US cities, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Look for additional details on this intriguing partnership in future Updates.

This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending September 29, 2017 is below. This week’s Update is a lengthy one and contains a number of stories that, although not directly associated with distribution, I found personally interesting. For those of you who wish that I stick purely to distribution matters, I apologize in advance.

The Schwarzenegger of Hostels in Coming [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Hilton CEO Outlines Plans For ‘Hostel on Steroids", Skift Travel News, September 26, 2017)
For those of you who have been readers of my weekly update for a while now, you know that I frequently include stories about the rapid changes occurring in the hostel industry. Hostels are no longer the dorm-like accommodations that we once stayed in while traveling through Europe. In fact, I’ve suggested in prior Updates that hostels may be the lodging industry’s best answer to the exploding short-term rental industry. At Skift’s annual industry event, the Skift Global Forum, held in New York last week, Hilton CEO, Chis Nassetta, shared Hilton’s plans to launch a new, mico brand of hotel (yes, another brand) for urban markets. According to Chris, this new brand’s emphasis on “connectability, flexibility and a local vibe” will allow the brand’s hotels to capture younger travelers who don’t yet have the financial resources to stay in more traditional Hilton-branded urban hotels earlier in their travel lifespans. Hostel anyone?

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About the Editor

Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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