Oakwood in talks with Airbnb and rivals over distribution and new product

George Sell By George Sell
30 September 2015 | Updated 30 September 2015

Singapore: Oakwood Worldwide’s managing director for Asia Pacific, Craig Ryan, has revealed the company is in talks with Airbnb and other rental sites.

"We're already in discussions with most shared economies, including Airbnb," Ryan told Travel Daily, adding that the talks involve using sites such as Airbnb as a means of distributing Oakwood serviced apartments, as well as developing new products.

"We're engaged in other discussions with another provider, relating to a partnership that leverages the product that they have and may work as an alternative product offering," Ryan said. "I wouldn't divulge the company at the moment, because it's at early stages, but it's an interesting conversation to have."

"Airbnb offers apartment living with a localised feel. They're offering a model of choice, they're offering apartments in locations that are typically outside of the hotel zone - it's very much what we do," Ryan said. "If you look at the corporate housing market in the US, we go out and lease apartments within a building. To use Los Angeles as an example, we're represented in the better part of 50 locations, so it's a similar type of scenario as Airbnb," Ryan added.

"It's pushing us to think outside the box. It's a good thing for the consumer; it brings more product in cities that may be restricted. And because of the price point it may be even encouraging more people to travel. Airbnb is here to stay. We encourage further focus on the accommodation sector as a whole, and if more people are travelling then every sector of the market will get their share."

Ryan's comments come shortly after Ascott announced a partnership with Chinese apartment rental site Tujia.


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