Kevin Locraft, Expedia Group
"To ensure that vacation rentals’ V-shaped recovery is an enduring trend, all key players in the industry must proactively partner with city and state governments on effective public policy."
Quote from Kevin Locraft, vice president, partner success, vacation rentals at Expedia Group, in an article on PhocusWire this week on the need for collaboration in vacation rentals.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
The recovery of the travel industry was never going to be as simple as turning a light switch on.
Even with travelers getting jabs of a vaccine in their arms in this early part of 2021, businesses in the industry have a lot to unravel before the "good times" come back.
In fact, there is a strong argument that the devastating effects of the pandemic are yet to truly felt, especially as many brands are running on skeleton staffing structures and making use of state-run furlough schemes.
When those programs run out, travel organizations will be on their own, forced to survive on revenues that may not have come back as quickly as the economics of running a business allow to pay staff.
It's why talk of a "V-shaped recovery" is something that sounds good on paper but the reality is going to be extremely difficult to achieve, even with apparent "pent-up consumer demand" bursting to break out.
Where Kevin Locraft is right is in the focus on rentals and their partnerships with local authorities.
It would be fair to say that the likes of Airbnb have often had a tense relationship with regulators and governments, having emerged on the scene with a model that initially put the power to earn money in the hands of property owners (and Airbnb, of course).
The ability for the sector to bounce back, or come back in a measured but effective way, will be determined in part by its acceptance that tourism and travel is a much bigger endeavor than perhaps it was considered before.
The pandemic has hit the industry, people's lives and their livelihoods, so many elements need to rebuild in a fair and meaningful way.
If that means being more proactive about the impact of business models on local communities and municipal finances, then so be it.
There is a chance to operate in ways that work for everyone - it just means everyone has to play their part and do the right thing.
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