Amid coronavirus carnage, one German travel tech startup goes for growth

BERLIN (Reuters) – Many of Europe’s travel tech companies have suffered setbacks as the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to restrict people’s movements, but amid the carnage one German startup is pushing ahead with its growth plans.

Limehome, now expanding into Spain from its German and Austrian home markets, is pioneering a “contactless” alternative to traditional hotels that features curated, designer apartments and an AirBnB-style platform to handle bookings.

As governments imposed lockdowns in the spring, Limehome did suffer a temporary hit to bookings. But from May through to September, it operated at 85% of capacity at its 45 properties. Another 35 are under development.

“During the first lockdown, we were really lucky,” co-founder Josef Vollmayr told Reuters, adding that business travellers had switched to Limehome as hotels closed: “We became more relevant.”

AirBnB is expected next week to publish its registration to float in New York, riding a pandemic surge in bookings from vacationers practising social distancing.Reuters news.

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