Welcome to our newest member – STR
Interview with Patrick Mayock, Senior Director
Tell us your story. How did STR get started?
STR was the brainchild of founders Randy and Carolyn Smith, who 30-plus years ago recognised the need for a unified hotel industry census. While building that census, the Smiths continued to receive requests for performance benchmarking. Not ones to shy away from a new opportunity, they took on the challenge and built what now is the largest, most trusted network of hotel industry benchmarking in the world. We now are looking to extend that expertise into other sectors, including hostels, home rentals, serviced apartments and self-storage. We’ve just launched our hostel performance benchmarking platform and are actively recruiting new data providers in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Edinburgh and Miami.
What makes STR different from your competitors?
While many would cite STR’s scale—we receive data from more than 62,000 hotels worldwide—our main competitive advantage is our relentless pursuit of data quality and integrity. We adhere to strict guidelines to prevent the isolation of individual property or brand data. And our methodology is thoughtfully designed to ensure our data drives the smartest decision making.
Additionally, I would cite our human capital and the relationships we’ve built over the past three decades. Our customers don’t view us as vendors, but rather as true partners that help shape the industries in which they work. Our new hostel benchmarking platform is a good example; the methodology, key performance indicators and reports themselves were designed in part by several prominent hostel operators over the course of a two-year pilot study.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
I’m biased, but my favourite success story is the recent launch of our hostel benchmarking platform. The milestone was notable in that it’s the first time STR has expanded outside of hotels in the accommodations space. Additionally, it was wonderful to engage with and learn from hostel operators as we built the platform and supporting methodology.
What can we expect to see from STR in the future?
Better visibility into total market demand. While STR’s core business was built on hotels, we realize that hotels are only part of the accommodations landscape. Hostels, home rentals and more continue to emerge, leveraging innovative design and operational savvy to establish themselves as accommodation offerings of choice for many travellers. In this new normal, operators must expand their view of competition in the market if they truly want to gain share. STR wants to be their trusted partner in that pursuit, and we’re working to expand our sample and develop intuitive, online tools to enable real-time decision making.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
The proliferation of this type of travel is notable in and of itself. Beyond that, I would cite the demand for quality accommodations. Travellers of all types have become more discerning; and while tastes vary, operators must always respond with a clean, safe environment that underscore the experience above all else.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with STR?
Our data encourages market visibility—not only into performance, but also the operational decisions that yield that performance. This encourages everyone to get better, which means delivering a better accommodation experience for young and older travellers alike.
Additionally, our data can help legitimise sectors, particularly in regions where growth is relatively untapped. This should aid in the flow of investment dollars into the sector, which means enhancement of existing hostels and development of new hostels to accommodate even greater numbers of youth travellers.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
Our first exposure to WYSE came during the STAY WYSE Conference in 2017. To say that we were knocked off our feet was an understatement. The event was well-organised and featured a robust line-up of experts in the hostel sector. More importantly, it attracted hundreds of engaged, energetic, enthusiastic evangelists of youth travel and hostels. That first interaction made it very clear that this was an organisation of which we wanted to be a part. Further research into the wonderful outreach and research WYSE conducts only confirmed those suspicions.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? If so, what was your experience with the event?
We’ve attended STAY WYSE the past two years and hope to continue attending long into the future. As mentioned above, it was an absolutely wonderful event, marked not only by the quality of conference programming but also the quality of attendees. We’re excited to experience the same at other WYSE events in the future.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?
For STR, it’s all about scale—about meeting the demand for accurate performance benchmarking in as many markets as possible. To start, we’re staying focused with concerted efforts to grow our sample in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Edinburgh and Miami. If you’re interested in participating, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Data providers receive a complimentary market intelligence report each month.
STR is the source for premium global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. We provide data that is confidential, reliable, accurate and actionable, and our comprehensive reports empower our clients to strategize and compete within their markets.
Founded in 1985, STR’s presence has expanded to 15 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England.
The cornerstone of our business from the start has been the hotel industry. Today, we receive data from nearly 60,000 hotels across 175 countries. In 2014, we expanded our reach to advance performance across other industries, leveraging our experience as the leader in competitive benchmarking and analytics for the hospitality sector. Our vision for the future is to be a trusted advisor, partner and innovator for any global industry that relies on data.
Today, our range of products includes data-driven solutions, daily and historic analytics, and unrivalled market insights, all to help our clients make better business decisions. Above all, we pride ourselves on accuracy and confidentiality. But the work we do goes beyond the numbers. We provide a service that empowers people and their businesses to reach new heights.
For more information, visit their website: www.str.com
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Service Member
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