Welcome back, it’s going to be OK. 

It’s possible that this week many of you are reconsidering your life choices. Would it really have been so bad if you’d stuck at your holiday job in the vet’s office? Bad pay/bad scarring yes, but regular hours and puppies. 

September can do that to a person, no matter how many mince pies you can almost legitimately eat. But let’s look at the state of the sector as we buckle up before the festive break and see whether it’s worth sticking around.

Airbnb in NY

We’re all well used to saying what a positive impact the platform has had on the sector. Teaching us about service all over again. Encouraging new, flexible brands (but Motto is not a response, no it’s not). Making us think about the true meaning of hospitality. But there would have been some desk-side drinking this week on the news from Skift that New York City’s Office of Special Enforcement had approved only 257 short-term rental host registrations — out of 3,250 applications — ahead of a 5 September enforcement deadline. OH DEAR. 

Regulations which came in at the start of the year required that hosts be present during a stay and that reservations be for less than 30 days. And no ability to lock bedroom doors. Yes it’s all very sad, most of all for the lawyers who have been occupied by this for many a long year now, with some feisty public letter writing. Will the platform be back? No doubt. It lives to disrupt. At the end of last year Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia launched Samara, a company offering tiny houses that can be installed in people’s gardens. Do hotel CEOs go to that effort to maintain pipeline? No they do not. Try harder.

KSL buys Hersha

Big sector deals make us all feel better about ourselves and this one, with KSL paying a premium of 60% over Hersha’s closing share price last week, gives us that cuddle of reassurance that we’re in the right sector after all. After all, next time, it could be you!

The release announcing the deal was also splattered with comments about luxury and lifestyle hotels in dynamic markets, which were all very consoling for those who might have feared that they had taken a wrong turn amidst the flurry of mid-market and budget brand launches. Remember, a brand is nothing without a healthy portfolio, whereas a luxury hotel is for life. Or six to seven years, depending on the cycle.

We’re all TWATS

For those not reading The Spectator in 2019, those only going into the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are twats and you can go and object in person if you feel that way, I’m sure they won’t mind. Just don’t bother on a Monday.

Many of those reading this will be a rare sight in the office as it is, pounding the skies in search of deals as they do, UK air traffic control permitting. But for everyone else the huge and growing number of Twats are big business. And don’t take our word for it, read the words of Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder, CEO and high-profile twat. 

Speaking to analysts on the group’s most-recent earnings call, he said: “People are extending their typical weekend stays by an extra night or two. In fact, in the past six quarters, long weekend stays have been the fastest growing trip type on Airbnb.”

If that’s not a cheery thought, we don’t know what is.

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