For decades, the travel industry has bobbed in and out of speculative attempts toward what many believe to be an inevitable convergence of the hotel and short-term rental industries.
Historically, there were missteps along the way dating back to ResortQuest’s founding and sale to Gaylord and then to Wyndham. Accor wrote off $288M in losses related to its purchase of OneFineStay, and we watched Hyatt and Accor trade losses with Oasis before the company was essentially gifted to Vacasa in 2018. In 2019, hopes of bringing the two industries together got a second wind as Airbnb purchased HotelTonight, Marriott launched Homes and Villas, STR began tracking short-term rental data, and Skift introduced its Short-term Rental Summit.
Next week, several recognized hotel and resort industry veterans are speaking alongside 40 short-term rental experts at the upcoming Second Annual Vacation Rental Data and Revenue Management (DARM) Conference, including Cindy Estis Green, cofounder and CEO at Kalibri Labs; Kelly McGuire, author and former senior vice president of revenue management, distribution and direct marketing for MGM Resorts International; Breffni Noone, revenue management and hospitality professor at Penn State; Ralf Garrison, founder of Insights Collective and founder and former CEO at Mountain Travel Symposium and Destimetrics; Cara Goodrich, vice president of sales and revenue, Castle Hotels and Resorts; and Heather Richer, HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board member and former and vice president of revenue management and distribution at Kimpton Hotels. From STR, chief strategy officer Elizabeth Winkle and vice president of research and development, Patrick Mayock (former editor in chief, HotelNewsNow), and senior associates Lyse Perrigo and Will Sanford will be discussing market data with short-term rental data leaders AirDNA and Key Data.
The DARM Conference, Sep. 15 – 17, will present data comparing and contrasting 2020’s hotel and short-term rental performance, and one in five attendees registered for the event are coming from hotels, resorts, and OTAs, including Booking.com and Expedia.
In a post-COVID travel environment, whole-home rentals in drive-to leisure markets surged as travelers escaped city centers; and with professionals working remotely and schools moving online, families are taking advantage of increased ability to stay in vacation homes for longer stays and in off-peak seasons. One coastal vacation rental manager said this week, “We could close down for the rest of the year and still be ahead of 2019.”
“While hoteliers and short-term rental operators historically have struggled to find common ground in service and operations, we’re discovering much more commonality in revenue management, distribution, and direct marketing,” said DARM Conference founder Amy Hinote. “When we realized we had to move this conference online, it gave us an increased ability to pull in experts from multiple sectors. As we bring vacation rental operators, technology providers, hoteliers, and academics together to discuss the revenue side of the business, it will be interesting to learn from each other and uncover where these sectors truly intersect.”
The content at the conference is divided into three general sections with the first day focused on data, the second day discussing revenue management strategies, and the third day centered on technology and execution.