According to a study from last year, when Airbnb enters a new city, hotel booking rates in that city fall (on average) by 1.3 percent within the first year, while annual revenue falls by 1.5 to 2 percent.
But that bite being taken out of traditional travel is not quite evenly distributed. Among some demographics — younger travelers in particular — the homesharing model has mostly missed certain segments. In particular, Joe Liebke, Founder and CEO of Villaway, noted in an email interview, the platform-based model for hospitality bookings has lagged conspicuously when it comes to adoption by luxury travelers.
“Right now it is estimated that less than 10 percent of luxury travelers use vacation rentals, so building what we call ‘the trust bridge’ from luxury hotels to luxury rentals is going to be very crucial for the segment."
— Joe Liebke, Founder and CEO of Villaway
Founded in 2014, the Beverly Hills-based luxury rental platform has spent the last half decade working to build that “trust bridge” for luxury travelers with rather discerning tastes. It is a tall order, and one the service provides in two ways. The first is pretty expected — with inventory that is premium, premier and might be otherwise difficult to gain access to. As of late 2019, the site claims 6,000 curated vacation villas spread over 120 global destinations.
Looking for a luxury stay in LA, and have $10,000 to burn a night? Villaway has you covered (though in fairness, $10,000 is a top price point; most rentals tend to run between $2,000 and $3,000 a night). If LA doesn’t feel exotic enough, there is Bali, where for $6,600 a night guests can live beachfront with eight to 15 of their closest friends and enjoy the services of both a professional chef and butler.
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