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Hyatt Hotels is dipping its toes into the sharing economy by partnering with the 'Airbnb for the rich

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 21 Jul 2015

It looks like the hotel industry might be warming up to the home-sharing economy, or at least trying to play nice with it.Hyatt Hotels is entering into a pilot program with Onefinestay that will let house renters freshen up at the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchillif they arrive early for their rental, according to a report from travel news site Skift.British startup Onefinestay, often referred to as theAirbnb for the Rich, lets luxury homeowners rent out their apartments while they're away. CEO GregMarsh previously told Business Insiderthat the typical customer is: "An American family coming from a coastal city in the US to stay in a 3 bedroom house in Notting Hill for 10 days over the summer."Should that family arrive early, they'll now have a place to refresh or store their bags, thanks to the Hyatt pilot program.This program isn't the companies first foray together. Hyatt was an investor in the home-sharing startup'slatest $40 million round in June, but Marsh told Skift that the partnership has progressed beyond that. Neither Hyatt nor Onefinestay could be reached for comment.A pilot program that involves one London hotel isnot a major move, but it is the first sign of a hotel company being willingto collaborate with the burgeoning home-sharing economy.A partnership with thehotels industry, which haveloyalty programs and name brand recognition, could be a boost to the nascent home-sharing industry, especially as these companies try to encroach on the lucrative corporate travel market.Airbnb is making a go of wooing business travelerson its own, but it's still in the beginning steps. It announced yesterday that it had overhauled its business program to make it easier for employers to expense reports and track employee's rentals, althoughthat won't solve the problem of getting business users to choose Airbnb over a traditional hotel in the first place.SEE ALSO:Airbnb wants the future of business travel to be staying in someone's houseJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: We just stayed at an Airbnb in Cuba, and this one thing was a big surprise
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