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FLEX 2020: The new world of the flexible rentals

COVID accelerated a dynamic change in corporate and vacation travel that was already underway. Who is emerging from the crisis with new models and opportunities? Our CEO & Co-Founder, Vivi Cahyadi Himmel joined Simon Lehmann of AJL Atelier in Zurich to bring together global perspectives in corporate housing, flexible rentals, and automated home lodging to talk about what’s really new, and points the way to the future.

  1. Simon Lehmann, CEO & Founder of AJL Atelier
  2. Vivi Cahyadi Himmel, Co-founder and CEO at AltoVita
  3. Luca Zambello, Co-founder and CEO at Jurny
  4. Mickey Kropf, Founder &the CEO of Vector Travel

The travel industry is a $100 billion business with many sub-sectors and drivers from destination vacations to sales calls to conventions and culture.

We have seen a massive shift thanks to the cultural and digital transformation that the pandemic brought. This is mostly due to the increase in remote working possibilities.

In 2020 companies and employees realized the possibility and feasibility of moving to a Work From Home way of life. This new way of life brought about some new way of traveling.

People started to appreciate the fact that they could live in different parts of the world, not only for specific projects that would require the person to do so but also due to the newfound freedom of movement.

With these cultural changes, the industry has had to adapt. The new challenges to the industry have created a lot of opportunities that could become the catalyst to accelerate the technology adoption required in the industry to keep up with the global situation.

A clear example of the need to update the technology used in the sector is for managing costs. Margins in the rental and hospitality industries have decreased as the supply and demand have increased. The high competitiveness of the industry has made it so that the margins have lowered to levels that unless the technology is implemented could create real chaos. This is why it has become paramount to use technology to manage costs, make everything more efficient and use the technology-driven guest-experience as a key differentiator.

Automation allows for super lean operations that help to increase the profitability of the business. Not only this, but it has become more necessary due to the biological factors that have come to the spotlight thanks to the pandemic. The possibility to reduce contact with others through the use of technology has brought peace of mind to the guests.

Additionally, there has been a cultural change in which people want to be more independent, not requiring a receptionist, for example, to access their rental home. But they do want to have constant access to the lenders in case any problems pop up. But this communication is to be had completely virtually. All of this has made digitalization a key aspect to focus on to thrive in the industry.

Global mobility will continue to increase due to COVID. Because of this, AltoVita, as a global accommodation platform, has set out to consolidate the fragmented serviced apartments and short-term rentals sectors. To do this, we use a centralized live booking smart system to distribute directly to top locations and multinational companies. This is done to improve the experience of both employees and suppliers taking into account duty of care complying, instant bookings, and other key requirements from the industry.

Multifunctional hospitality has become a key player in the industry, and with this, there needs to be a reinvention of the business models. Focusing on global mobility, owning technology end-to-end, and improving guest-experience, are now at the core of the industry.

To learn more, you can watch the 2020 FLEX conference here.

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