Canada: Chinese travel accommodations group Cozystay Holdings Inc. is diversifying from its core rental offering by taking over its first hotel.
Chief technology officer Peng Shen told Hotel Business: “Our founder, Galen Cheng, identified that in the hospitality industry, traditionally the level of service is defined by the service provider—four-star, five-star, etc.—and purely regulated and defined by hotel groups. In our point of view, there is a gap.
“In the service industry, it should be the guest that determines if the service received is good or feels like home. Rather than the hotel saying it is a four-star property, we believe it is up to the guest.
“This is the potential need our founder identified,” added Shen.
Cozystay has signed a deal with Abercorn Inn Vancouver Airport to transform the property for its portfolio of specialty properties as Cozystay Signature Vancouver Airport. The company also completed the takeover of a property in British Columbia–Lake Okanagan Resort, which has now been rebranded as Cozystay Signature Lake Okanagan Resort.
Shen said: “We have our own platform and properties under management in the vacation rental space sector. We tried a lot of things and different interactions with our guests, and now, we are at a level that we can make a dent in the traditional hotel industry.
“We want to do everything properly and deliver measured results. We are starting to step into the hotels and resorts sector at a larger scale,” added Shen.
As part of its expansion plans, Cozystay has hired 25 new employees to join its team.
Shen said: “For now, we are looking for properties similar in size, and we are open to opportunities. With this model, a lot of the decision power goes to our guests staying on-property.
“Our mission is for the guest to define what a five-star hotel experience is. We believe that in order for a hotel to feel like a home away from home, guests need to be empowered and have rights in terms of the services they want.
“We are working toward that goal,” added Shen.
According to Shen, the vacation rental industry is flourishing due to the rise and prominence of Airbnb, which is leading traditional hotel brands to consider expanding into the home-sharing space.
He said: “Airbnb and Marriott, from our point of view, are segments in this industry. One is more like a channel that puts guests in a house and Marriott, on the other side, is a last-mile service provider.
“There’s a fine line between a rental and a hotel. In five to ten years, what we currently know of as accommodations will vanish. When you go on a trip, you will think about an accommodation rather than staying in a hotel,” he added.
For more information, visit the Cozystay website here.