Airbnb is this generation’s largest peer-to-peer exchange service for hospitality around the world. While it is already a force to be reckoned with, it still continues to grow. Although the company argues their business model simply connects hosts who rent out their private property to short-term subletters, in this age of Internet, it’s more than a mere blip in the radar.
It’s so much bigger than that. Founded in 2009, it has already expanded into over 200 cities across the globe and a $40 billion valuation to boot. These numbers are both so impressive and threatening to the long-standing hoteliers in the hospitality industry. Perhaps someone has to ask, in an Airbnb world, how can the hotel industry continue to thrive?
The hotel industry in Sydney remains valuable. Tourist attractions, world class sights and international festivals pull travellers and vacationers in. Motels and hotels for sale in Sydney keep businessmen sitting up and busy. But Airbnb is shaking up the traditional hospitality industry and it’s not likely going away any time soon. What can hoteliers do to keep up with this market superpower?
First, study their business model. Airbnb is more than a good looking website. Learn all you can about the experience they sell, the properties they offer and the ways with which they stick to their brand. Second, learn from what you learned. This doesn’t mean adapting their structure to yours, but rather, letting the information you gathered inform your hotel’s services, profile and sociability.
A crucial characteristic in this rapidly changing consumer market is relevance. No matter how well established your name is, understand that a new and better brand is likely going to appear in the next fear years who could potentially take over your market. Airbnb will continue to improve. It caters to the generation that will be the whole industry’s target audience the next couple of decades.
How do you measure up to that? Don’t fear the hospitality giant; befriend it. Encourage your team to learn from Airbnb. Understand their price structure and this generation as your primary demographic. Focus on services and commodities your hotel or motel has to offer that no random residential property a backpacker is looking to rent can provide.
Find your edge, highlight it and dress it up. Make their travel interesting. Make yourself interesting.