De Schepper is visibly excited by the developments taking place in accommodation in Asia. “There’s been a lot happening around new regulations around vacation rentals – it’s interesting the different approaches taken by Japan (which legalised it) and Singapore (which banned short-term rentals). “It’s a big concern for hoteliers but there is clear consumer demand for it. As I see it, it gets people travelling more because there is more availability, it increases the overall market and it’s good for the entire industry.” The opportunity for hoteliers is to offer what alternative accommodation cannot – 24-hour restaurants, laundry services, gyms, safety. “Understand why people are using alternative accommodation, families who try to book connecting rooms in a hotel – it’s impossible, provide experiences, make it less anonymous. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t have.” Expedia’s “Go Global” battlecry this year is also good for de Schepper, giving her more resources to invest in offices and talent in the region which is seeing strong growth. “Japan continues to surprise me in overall growth, both inbound and domestic. It’s interesting how the domestic market is evolving – it was heavily locally dominated but it’s starting to change.” Get the full story at WIT and download the WIT Hospitality Think Tank Summary Report (PDF 2.3 MB)