Travel start-up HOLT aims for the future of accommodation
The birth of Airbnb gave birth to the travel startup. The possibility of marketing any type of accommodation – a house, a motorhome, an igloo! – allowed anyone enterprising enough to take on the role of host access to a growing base of trusted guests who flocked to the platform for something beyond the average hotel room. Of course, the big brands have noticed Airbnb’s meteoric rise. Booking and Expedia were forced to adjust their platforms and their approach. VRBO woke up from its amazement. Hotel brands have started the two-sided approach of fighting the legality of rental properties in courts and media in major cities while trying to join the party through boardroom acquisitions. .
One brand, HOLT, is committed to making a lasting name for itself, staying at the forefront of innovation while relying on good old-fashioned hospitality to meet the demands of a burgeoning class of modern travelers. . âWe want to be the Marriott of our generation,â exclaims Benjamin Earley, CEO of HOLT. âNot only will HOLT be synonymous with travel and accommodation, but the real light at the end of the tunnel is the potential disruption of the essential way the average person thinks about accommodation. What happens to be the biggest market in the world.
The pandemic hasn’t been kind to the average Airbnb host. Travel stalled in 2020. As if the shock weren’t quick enough of a total shutdown of reservations, tickets and entertainment, booking platforms and credit cards initially sided with travelers to reimburse those affected by the closures, leaving accommodation businesses ranging from vacation rentals, travel agencies, tours and experiences, holding the bag. This bag was rent owed, employees owed, and assembly bills. âThe pandemic has rocked a lot of small and medium-sized guests in the rental space. And not just the hosts. If you had a tangential or people-friendly business coming to your area to stay in rental houses and apartments, you were also struggling in 2020. But in the long run I think that will form a stronger class of hosts. and rental companies, âMr. Earley said hopefully.
HOLT intends to be one of those brands. A real estate developer and international rental company, HOLT is present in three countries. Initially renting and developing their properties, they have gradually improved their process since 2013. In 2018, they started taking long-term commercial type leases on houses and residential buildings, and renovating them partially or entirely in the single. purpose of short-term rental housing. âFor years we have tried to squeeze a square peg into a round hole – placing guests in places that are meant to be permanently inhabited. But to travel is to go to a new and different place, and to make the house a vessel for your trip, whether it is a business trip or a pleasure trip, long or short.
In Bucharest, Romania, where HOLT owns and rents its properties, they added two large apartments and a contactless hotel-style building to their portfolio during the pandemic. Originally intended to be offices, HOLT approached the owners of a historic building in the Old Town and came up with the idea of ââconverting it into nine modular suites.
In Oaxaca, Mexico, they completely renovated a four-story villa. In San Miguel de Allende, also in Mexico, they completed work on a house that faces the famous Parque Juarez, in the heart of the city. All achieved during the slowdown starting in 2020.
Seeking to differentiate itself from the average Airbnb host, HOLT is thinking big. âWe prefer to accommodate groups. We are always looking for bigger homes in cool areas. We can do the job to make it amazing, just give us the keys in a good location. They also go for the look. They work with local designers to bring out the local cultural charm, while importing high quality products to distinguish their homes. HOLT aims for the top of the market in terms of the price and quality of their homes.
âAnyone can post a room online. It takes real magic to bring an entire house to life. With any luck with the viruses and the courage gained by surviving the pandemic, HOLT is well on your way to becoming your friendly host in the future.
Follow HOLT’s journey on their website at helloholt.com and on social media @helloholt.