Airbnb has seen stupendous growth since its launch in 2008. In just eight years, there have been over 100 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings, and the company reports more than 2.3 million room listings in 191 countries all around the world. Airbnb ranks number one in the number of rooms available to clients, preceding Hilton hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, both approximately offering 715,000 hotel rooms worldwide.
Hotel owners across the globe have felt the effect of the Airbnb phenomena, even though the target audience may vary, any supply be it apartments, house rentals, holiday villas, etc. shall affect hotel supply and subsequent demand.
HVS consulting and valuation recently did a survey on the effects of Airbnb in New York City, and they estimated that hotels lose approximately $450 million in direct revenues per year to Airbnb. Between September 2014 and August 2015, 480,000 hotel room nights were reserved in New York while over 2.8 million room nights were booked on Airbnb. By 2018, HVS estimates that Airbnb room nights will reach 5 million per year. This can be a big hit to the hotel industry.
Can’t get enough of the success story that Airbnb is? Why not internalize some common approaches adopted by Airbnb,
• Introduce Local and Cultural experiences:
Airbnb is perceived as a unique accommodation option for travellers. It attracts leisure travellers by inculcating local culture and authentic experiences. Hoteliers should also take the local turn and offer more on nearby attractions, neighbourhood culinary classes, eating establishments celebrating regional culture etc.
• Personal Connections
Hoteliers should offer social hours at their hotel where guests as well as staff at the hotel can interact with each another. They need to create a more cordial and personalized connect between guests and hotel staff.
• Better engagement
In Airbnb, guests can chat with the hosts before making the booking. It is a comfortable arrangement where you can talk to a real person rather than machines before booking your stay. Hotels must become more hospitable and gentle during online interaction with guests. Stay approachable during discovery and follow up stage when they arrive at the property.
Guests who opt for Airbnb are used to personalised and one to one attention. Hoteliers need to use social media and other communication modes – text messages, WhatsApp, phone calls and more to create a rapport which grows into a relationship with their guests.
This also becomes a great opportunity for hotels to highlight not only their rooms but also their other POS, spas, restaurants, activities and upsell them
Know of more such ideas that benefit hoteliers? Let us know in the comment section.