UK STAA appoints Andy Fenner as CEO

UK: The UK Short Term Accommodation Association [STAA] has appointed Andy Fenner as its CEO.

The role is a new position, supporting the chairperson, Merilee Karr, CEO of UnderTheDoormat Group, to deliver the STAA’s strategy and Shomik Panda, director general of the STAA Secretariat, and CEO of Inline Policy.

The association said that it had grown to a point where it now represents over 80 per cent of the market. This includes major global booking platforms Airbnb, and Vrbo, home swapping platform Love Home Swap, prominent UK property management companies and agencies such as ALTIDO, City Relay, GuestReady, Host & Stay, onefinestay, PassTheKeys, Sykes Holiday Cottages and UnderTheDoormat, as well as a range of companies supporting the industry with technology, insurance and services, and individual hosts across all four nations of the UK.

Fenner will bring nearly 20 years’ experience in travel and tourism and the sharing economy gained in both Africa and the UK to the role. In his previous role, he worked in the Congo with a conservation NGO setting up sustainable tourism to benefit local people.

He said: “The sharing economy is a lifeline to many communities, more so now than it has ever been, as we tackle the cost of living crisis. People using their homes and second homes as holiday lettings employs thousands of people across the country, both directly and through supporting local businesses.

“Holiday lettings sustain the economy of many of our rural villages and help keep local business at the heart of our communities. It’s great to have joined an association to help develop and nurture this vital and exciting part of the sharing economy.

“I am honoured to lead the STAA on its next exciting phase. Having been involved in the travel and sharing economy for many years and seen the good it can do for our communities, I want to build on the work the team at the STAA has done and guide the association through its next stage of expansion,” he added,

Karr said: “The STAA Board and its members are delighted to have Andy join us as our new CEO. He has a wealth of experience in the travel and tourism sectors to help us support the responsible growth of short-term accommodation industry in the years ahead.

“We are at a pivotal moment where our sector is driving UK spending to the tune of £27.7 billion in 2021 [as per a November 2022 review by Sykes Holiday Cottages and Oxford Economics], providing half a million jobs and supporting hosts during the cost of living crisis. I look forward to the contribution that Andy will make on our sector and to hosts and communities across the UK,” she added.

Last week, the STAA held its inaugural Property Manager Awards in London to recognise performance excellence in the domestic property management sector.

The winners were:

  • Best Property Manager for Scotland – ALTIDO
  • Best Property Manager for Wales – DYZYN Living
  • Best Property Manager for South West England – Beach Retreats
  • Best Property Manager for London and South East – My Getaways
  • Best Property Manager for North of England – Host & Stay
  • Best sustainability implementation – Lamington Group
  • Most inspiring community support initiative – Pillow Partners
  • Most impactful marketing campaign – GuestReady
  • Best customer experience – Guest 365
  • Best use of technology – Pass the Keys

Leo Walton, co-founder of SUPERHOG and board member of the STAA, said: “At the STAA, we’re incredibly proud of the excellence and innovation being delivered around the UK by local property managers. The STAA Property Manager Awards have been established to recognise these achievements and shine a light on all their hard work.

“Our members are taking the industry to new heights, creating unforgettable memories for their guests and going the extra mile,” he added.