The business events world now has a new middleman – a hotel and resorts buy-out specialist with a cruise rental sub-brand.
“We started with our first events in 2016. Last year, business was really good, and this year, even better. Business has (gotten off the ground) very fast, but also because there’s nobody else is doing what we do,” said Daniel Rudolf, head of sales & marketing of the Germany-based Rent-A-Resort.
Established in 2015, Rent-A-Resort is the world’s first company specialising entirely in property buy-outs for business events.
On how the industry can benefit from a middleman specialising in buy-outs, he said: “Planners looking for a buy-out can (approach) 10 resorts and nine will say no. Many won’t even understand what they’re talking about.
“They can approach the convention bureau, but the (bureau) doesn’t have the (relevant expertise) or handle buyouts. They can only tell you what hotels are available (and the planner has to go through the long process of sourcing).”
Rent-a-Resort’s expertise and network reduces the trial-and-error process for planners, which translates to time-savings and a better match. Clients approach the company with information on dates and number of rooms required, and can hear back as soon as in 48 hours, he shared.
“We know which resorts don’t do buyouts, and there are many reasons for that, having (prior) arrangements with tour operators (is one). And we know which ones do.”
The company also has knowledge of when resorts in Europe have their seasonal closures, hence opening them up is possible for “season extensions” for corporate groups.
In parts of Asia, where many resorts open year-round, Rudolf admits Rent-a-Resort’s knowledge of the landscape “is still in the development stage”.
Still, requests for Asia are coming in strong, and the company’s resort network is quickly shaping up.
The company secured its first property buy-out in Asia earlier this year, a booking of Anantara Mui Ne in Vietnam. Rent-A-Resort has site inspections in Phuket and Danang lined up for November, and is hoping to work with Banyan Tree’s Angsana resort in Vietnam.
Demand for Asian resorts is palpable. “Asia is far, but you probably have more flights from Frankfurt to Phuket, for example, than you have to Ibiza or other islands closer by. It’s a long (way to Asia), and more expensive, but accessibility to (many Asian resort destinations) is good. Asian resorts are also a lot more exotic for European clients than an island they visit all the time with their families,” he remarked.
The company is a “venue finder” first and foremost, but it also has partners that can charter flights and book tickets. For more complicated arrangements, Rent-A-Resort has agency and DMC partners.