Airbnb was founded in 2008…just 7 years ago. They are a website for people to list, find and rent lodging under the sharing economy business model. With over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries, we’re sure you’ve heard of their name.
Airbnb is disrupting the hospitality industry and here are 5 reasons why some Hotels may want to start viewing them as a direct competitor.
1) Airbnb averages 425,000 guests per night, almost 22% more than Hilton Worldwide.
2) Valued at $25 billion, Airbnb ranked higher than traditional hospitality brands like Marriott International, which was valued at $21 billion.
3) Mid-priced, Economy and Budget hotels were most affected by Airbnb, according to a Texas study by Boston University.
4) Airbnb is starting to advance in the business travel sector. A travel and expense management firm saw their corporate clients spend more than $1 million in Airbnb bookings.
5) Since launching their Business Travel program last year, 250 companies have joined including high profile names like SoundCloud and Google.
Instead of being afraid of Airbnb, hotels should try to be inspired by them. Go the extra mile to give your guests unique and local recommendations like cozy coffee shops and quirky Mom and Pop restaurants. Airbnb listers live and die by their reviews, so they are constantly engaging with their potential customers in real time. Prioritize social media and review websites to answer questions and build trust.
Ultimately your guests (especially Millennials) desire a one-of-a-kind experience. Go back to square one and take the time to really understand what makes your property and location special. Feature these highlights on your website and marketing efforts.
What are your thoughts on Airbnb affecting the hospitality industry? Have you experienced staying at one?