Categories: Special ReportLodging

Accommodating the Alternatives

Are Hotels and Airbnb Converging The latest trends in long-term lodging for business travelers
After decades of more or less status quo, the long-term lodging market is morphing, making outside-the-box accommodations options both more available and more attractive both for corporate travel budgets and today’s business traveler lifestyle. For extended stay hotels, serviced apartments, corporate housing and other players, it means corporations are turning the focus on a more home-like environment.

It’s a trend often attributed to the rise of Airbnb. But while long-term stay accommodation providers have existed for decades – and many hotel chains have had long-stay brands for years – the traveler’s expectation of diversity, uniqueness and local feel has also played a role in the evolution.

“While Airbnb often gets the credit, I believe that the evolution and ease of technology blended with accessibility have really been the drivers,” says Lee Curtis, founding partner and CEO of RESIDE Worldwide, Inc. “It’s ironic that platforms like Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) have been around since 1995 (and then merged with HomeAway in 2005), but it took Airbnb launching in 2008 before the conversation around alternative accommodations really became mainstream.”

Additionally, Curtis believes this blurring of lines has not been limited to just the physical product, but to how and why people travel.

“The so called ‘Biz-Leisure’ segment is a growing travel segment and non-traditional platforms from the vacation rental industry such as Airbnb and others have made it much easier to consider and utilize very different forms of housing,” he says. “These options can be both cost effective and lifestyle oriented and offer the traveler a much more diverse range of options.”

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