French accommodation giant AccorHotels has announced strategic investments in two holiday rental companies.
The hotel operator has acquired a 49% stake in Squarebreak, an online service offering upscale properties in resorts across France, Spain and Morocco but with hotel-like services.
According to a statement the investment will help Squarebreak, which was created in 2013, to grow quickly.
The hotel company has also acquired a 30% stake in Oasis Collections - also an online private rentals service but offering leisure and corporate rentals across the US, Europe and Latin America.
The Buenos Aires-based company launched in 2009 and offers concierge like services and a members' clubs in destinations.
Co-founder and chief executive of Oasis Parker Stanberry says the investment will help it reach 70 cities by 2019.
AccorHotels deputy chief officer for marketing, digital, distribution and information systems Vivek Badrinath says the investments help the company better understand guest expectations in the home rental market and enable it to explore a "new complementary offer to upscale hotels."
Interesting to note that Priceline said in its Q4 2015 results the rentals space is growing faster than its core business.
AccorHotels company announced the investments at the same time as annual results showing a 2.3% increase in revenue to almost Euro 5.6 billion and EBIT up 10.6% to Euro 665 million.
Net profit was reported as increasing 9.4% to Euro 244 million.
The company's hotel services division was impacted by its five-year digital plan to invest Euro 225 million announced in October 2014 with EBIT of Euro 359 million, down 1.5%.
Priorities for 2016 include continuing to implement the digital plan as well as speed up the development of the accorhotels.com marketplace.
The marketplace was unveiled in June 2015 to help Accor bring traffic back to its own sites and brands by pitting independent hotels in selected cities against its own properties.
The company has also been making significant moves in its hotels investment and acquisition division notably the acquisition of luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swisssotel in December.
It also recently confirmed a 10.8% stake in Chinese hotel group Huazhu, originally announced in December 2014.
Diary of a hotel company in digital transformation