50 Most Admired Companies to Watch 2022
Short-term rentals are taking hold in the hospitality marketplace. It’s an attractive model for investors looking for substantial cash flows and returns on investment. Vacation rental investing promises owners higher rents, no eviction hassles, and simplified property marketing. We’ve all been following the recovery of the travel industry closely, and it’s been encouraging to watch the short-term rental sector weathering the pandemic at a higher rate than expected. Many businesses took a massive knock as travel was halted and cancellation rates soared. Still, two years of restrictions have only increased our hunger for travel, and the rebound has been rewarding.
Airbnb and Vrbo saw upticks in rental homes that can accommodate more people in both 2020 and 2021, suggesting a rise in family travelers seeking space to enjoy each other’s company outside the confines of a traditional hotel room combined with extended weekends facilitated by continued remote work. Although hotels remain the top choice for lodging among some family travelers, according to a recently released joint study by New York University and the Family travel association, vacation rental properties grew in popularity in both 2020 and 2021.
The trend is expected to continue well beyond the pandemic, though obviously, the concerns around COVID-19 fueled it.
The growth potential for the vacation rental industry is immense, and industry forecasts are encouraging. One of the most admired vacation rental companies in 2022 is Holiday Swap. Holiday Swap provides users with a platform to securely swap or host their homes in 185 countries for just $1 per night, per person, or through a subscription plan. Holiday swap allows users to browse spaces, locations, and destinations through the Holiday Swap app, bringing them one step closer to their next adventure. Holiday Swap is the largest home exchange platform by the number of users, allowing peer to peer marketplace where people can save on the cost of accommodation and swap their homes almost anywhere in the world.
Following are excerpts from the conversation with James Asquith, CEO of Holiday Swap
Q. How did you get the idea of setting up Holiday Swap?
Holiday Swap was never pre-planned. I used to work in investment banking, and after setting the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to visit every country in the world I wanted to create a platform that allowed people to travel for cheaper.
I kept getting asked by many people how they could travel more. Hotel prices and homestays are continuing to go up in cost, so we wanted to create a way for people to use the bed they sleep into travel more, and take away most of the expensive cost of accommodation. At Holiday Swap, we wanted to build a sharing platform that saves all of us money for things like flights and tours.
Q. What is the process of swapping homes?
It’s so simple. Users use the map to search for their dream property in any one of 185 countries worldwide. They can instantly message anyone on the platform to arrange their dates and confirm the swap. As a subscribed user, they also benefit from insurance protection and property damage guarantees. So it’s peace of mind for everyone!
Q. What is the way to unlock the benefits of Holiday Swap and why?
To fully unlock all the benefits of Holiday Swap, we offer two subscription methods. You can save money and pay $100 for the annual membership, or alternatively, choose the $10 per month option. Both are premium memberships—offering unlimited swaps and insurance protection.
Q. How has COVID changed the way you conduct business?
We used the downturn in global travel to rebuild our app entirely and install new features such as tokens, our in-house currency for earning and spending, instantly bookable spaces for travelers looking to stay somewhere at short notice, instant messaging for all users, and we beefed up our insurance protection for subscribed users to include COVID cancellations.
Q. What is the most challenging situation you have been through, and how did you overcome it?
Scaling a global company while working remotely 365 days of the year is a constant challenge and something I take immense pride in. We have built a successful international team of professionals in their fields from tech to marketing and beyond, all while navigating the constraints of the pandemic and working around the fact we all live in different timezones. Furthermore, unlike many other companies, we actually grew our team and developed our app even further during this time.
Meet the Guinness world-record holder, Founder, and the person at the helm of Holiday Swap
James Asquith is the Official Guinness World Record setter and holder for being the youngest male to visit all 196 sovereign nations worldwide.
After traveling to South-East Asia on a gap year, James took an around-the-world tour lasting five years. He completed the challenge at the age of 24, and in 2015 James became a best-selling travel author with his biography about his record-breaking travels to every country in the world. Having taken over 1,600 commercial flights over the last ten years, James had a successful career in Investment Banking in London at HSBC, becoming Vice-President at Deutsche Bank and then Head of Corporate Bond trading at Sumitomo Mitsubishi (SMBC).
James is now the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Holiday Swap, the largest home swapping platform globally, in 185 countries with nearly 1 million users. Having used his extensive experience in investment banking, where he managed $1.5 billion of corporate bonds and the travel sector, James has built and funded one of the most disruptive companies in the travel and sharing economy. James
has also featured as a keynote speaker at The New York Travel Show and has recently become an ambassador for the Mars Space Mission. James has also worked alongside UNICEF to raise money and awareness for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. He visited Yemen recently to highlight the devastating situation to young people.
With nearly 2 million followers across social media, James has a prominent presence globally,having raised significant capital for a rapidly expanding company across six continents.