PARIS (REUTERS) - AccorHotels will regroup three of its luxury home-rental divisions under its "onefinestay" brand, as the French hotelier steps up efforts to counter the challenge of Airbnb and other online booking services.
Europe's largest hotel group also said on Wednesday (July 26) that it would buy full control of Squarebreak, a French home-rental company in which it has a 49 per cent stake, for an undisclosed amount.
AccorHotels said it would group the Travel Keys and Squarebreak units under the umbrella of the onefinestay brand before the end of the year.
It also named Mr Javier Cedillo-Espin as the chief executive of the brand.
The move will allow guests of onefinestay to have access to more than 10,000 rental spaces as well as hospitality and concierge services around the world, the company said.
AccorHotels chief executive Sebastien Bazin has long warned that revenue from traditional hoteliers is under threat from companies such as Airbnb, which offer travellers accommodation options other than hotels, and from online booking websites like Expedia.
His response to the threat of the so-called "sharing economy" - namely ways to share or rent rather than own outright - has been a flurry of recent acquisitions in the sector.
The group's ambition is to generate 30 per cent of its revenue in the medium term from new businesses, such as concierge services or home rentals.
AccorHotels announced the acquisition of Travel Keys and Squarebreak earlier this year, saying the deal would boost its presence in the luxury private-rental market.
It bought British loss-making company onefinestay in April 2016. At the time, onefinestay had a porfolio of 2,600 properties in London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome.