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Vitur Summit ~ 4 Takeaways

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

I'm always looking to see what I can learn and what is just over the horizon in short-term rentals. I always see Vitur as an organisational weather vane of the European industry; this one was no different. I have four takeaways and thank you to those who contributed to improving my vision perspective on the future. All can be considered together as part of a collective approach to business development and survival.


Legislation

The legislation challenges across Europe will accelerate, and Govts must be challenged with real data to fight ambiguous and more politically aligned arguments. Associations need to combine strengths and think of results, not rewards. At an operational level, this will be challenging and includes health, safety, and sustainability. This all needs close collaboration and leaders to work together soon and with purpose.


AI

Undoubtedly, AI will permeate every industry element, from simple content provision to data mining guests and intelligence-based travel choices. We are seeing software development acceleration and open-source systems already. AI can improve these and serve the industry at scale and lower costs. The bigger tech businesses will need fewer resources and theoretically make greater margins (but only temporarily). Every STR company must address their current operations and how AI can improve efficiencies, but also keep abreast of the new tech tools which will emerge in increasing numbers. AI relies on data (see below).


Accommodation stay times

A wider concept of accommodation stay duration. Partly due to Covid, partly due to pending legislation, partly due to

changing travel demographics and partly due to labour force challenges. This means software tweaks and new marketing directions with mid to longer stays opportunities such as digital nomads or corporate relocation partners.


Data

How to grow a business based on deeper data analysis, use and interpretation. Data is intangible and ubiquitous, but it is a superpower if surfaced, visible and interpreted (thankyou GD). Making small steps and engaging in collection, education, analysis, use, and security is important. A vast topic, but analysing even the simplest stored data can allow big improvements. As the saying goes, "Without data, you're just another person with an opinion". Large companies have vast amounts of data and must address this at an industrial scale. Below is the slide from Vitur, kindly contributed by Graham Donoghue, CEO of SykesCottages (part of the Forge Group). It shows the groupings they address that make this 30,000+ accommodation group successful.


A big thank you to those who contributed to these "tabletop" discussions at the conference and in the streets and restaurants of Malaga.


As a support to the above on Data and AI, Airbnb, whose growth and PR contributed heavily to legislative focus, has a few words to say about all this and some dangerous statements on Trust.







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