Excerpt from Curbed
New alliances and investments show how the industry is evolving, or at least hedging its bets
If you can’t beat them, buy them. That may be part of a new strategy for the hotel industry, which has seen the sharing economy and room-sharing sites such as Airbnb take away market share and emerge as established competitors instead of temporary trends.
A study by Morgan Stanley last year underlined the long-term threat of the sharing economy: 25 percent of leisure travelers and 23 percent of business travelers will have used Airbnb by the end of 2017, with 49 percent of Airbnb users reporting having used the service as a substitute for a standard hotel.
In August, Hyatt Hotels announced its investment in Oasis Collections, an international room-sharing service that offers private member’s clubs and a network of local employees available to guests 24/7, a bid to offer a more upscale Airbnb alternative. Founded in 2009 in Buenos Aires, the service, initially imagined as a “deconstructed hotel,” now has more than 2,000 properties in 22 cities worldwide. Oasis properties can now be found on the Hyatt website as of last week, as part of the company’s Unbound Collection (itself a hip, boutique hotel brand with ambitions to attract millennial travelers).
Parker Stanberry, the founder and CEO of Oasis, sees the investment—exact figures of the private deal were undisclosed, but it’s a “significant minority investment”—as a boon for both sides. Both Hyatt and Oasis are able to respond to the needs of their respective client bases, and better serve corporate clients. Consider a Hyatt customer, a business traveler, who now has the ability to rent a three-room apartment for a long stay with his or her family, or can find an apartment instead of a hotel room for a long-term project in another city.