Hyatt, Hilton Turn Away From Homesharing

Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian told investors Thursday that Hyatt is unlikely to make any new plays in homesharing, a day after Hilton’s CEO said the same.

Homesharing has been top of mind following Marriott International’s launch of a large-scale vacation rental platform earlier this week.

Hyatt had been active in the homesharing space, investing in short-term vacation rental startups Onefinestay and Oasis in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Both forays were short-lived, however, with Onefinestay being acquired by Accor in 2016 and Oasis joining the fold of vacation rental management company Vacasa last year.

“One of the learnings we came away from [our homesharing] experiences with is when you’re dealing with high-end properties and you’re trying to maintain a level of quality, the delivery model is expensive,” said Hoplamazian during Hyatt’s Q1 earnings call. “It’s hard to get to a … sustainable model.”

Hoplamazian also expressed some concern over the current regulatory climate for short-term vacation rentals, which he said has “gotten tougher and more stringent.”

“We’ve seen the negative impact that [regulations have] had for listings in some markets for some of the larger platforms, and I think that that’s going to persist,” he said.

His comments dovetail with remarks made by Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, who said during Hilton’s Q1 call that homesharing was a “fundamentally different business” from hotels and that Hilton has no immediate plans to launch a vacation rental platform.

While Hilton has eschewed homesharing, Hyatt does still have a limited presence in the sector. The company currently has a small number of serviced apartments in India and the Middle East and also has a U.S. portfolio of professionally managed vacation rentals under its Destination Hotels umbrella, which Hyatt acquired as part of its takeover of Two Roads Hospitality late last year.

“We’re excited about the Destination resort management business,” said Hoplamazian, adding that the Destination Residences vacation rental portfolio comprises around 3,000 units, primarily in ski-focused markets and Hawaii. “We’re excited about that [portfolio] on the leisure side, and we continue to evaluate whether we might also participate in what I describe as a more B2B, corporate-focused urban residential play. But it’s unlikely going to involve anything that looks like a sharing platform.”

Hyatt reported systemwide revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of 1.8% for the first quarter. U.S. RevPAR was down 0.3%, weighed down by softness in the select-service category. The group’s total revenue increased 12% to $1.24 billion.

(Travel Weekly)

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