Onyx feels Airbnb effect as business mix shifts

George Sell By George Sell
11 November 2016 | Updated 11 November 2016

Thailand: Onyx Hospitality Group is noticing a shift towards shorter stays in its apartments, prompted by the influence of Airbnb.

Duncan Webb, Onyx Hospitality Group's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said the consumer appetite for Airbnb and other short-term rental accommodation has affected and changed the market for serviced apartment operators.

Onyx operates its Shama serviced apartment brand across several Asian cities, including Bangkok, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It has also entered the Australian market.

Webb said: "Shama's traditional long-stay model is morphing into short-stay. I think the growth of the Airbnbs of this world is leading people to realise that, by staying in an apartment, you have a little more freedom and space. People are looking at serviced apartments in a different way; you could call it 'Airbnb with security'."

"We have a lot of people who choose to stay in a Shama because they have more space. So we see the market changing; you only have to look at some of our competitors (the traditional serviced apartment companies) and it's very obvious - they're selling on a daily basis, so we do the same."

Webb pointed out that demand varies across markets. Shanghai remains "pure long-stay" because it is a strong corporate market, but in others, such as Hangzhou the mix is "50-50". Webb also cited Shama Sukhumvit in Bangkok, which has a significant short-stay market due to its popularity with Middle Eastern guests "who like the concept of more space, having a kitchen and so on."

www.onyx-hospitality.com

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