What Can We Learn from Airbnb?
Given its enormous contribution to the tourism industry in recent years, especially as regards traveler perception, and given the competitive threat that it poses to the hotel industry, we will analyze what lies at the root of the AIRBNB phenomenon and what make it so important.
Valued at 31 billion dollars and widely considered to be one of Silicon Valley’s greatest triumphs, we must take note of the technology developed by AIRBNB and recognize how it can breathe new life into the strategy of our hotel.
According to a survey conducted by the consultancy Morgan Stanleyit was found that 19% of leisure travellers and 18% of business travellers have used Airbnb at least once. This year, these figures are expected to increase to 25% and 23% respectively. This is not the most alarming data for the hotel but rather, the fact, extracted in the same study, which tells us that 60% comment on how they prefer it to hotel accommodation.
Another significant datum from the results of AIRBNB, in a study conducted by Phocuswright, is how its booking response ratio is higher than that of leading travel portals like Booking and Expedia (up to 5 times larger than these portals and 3 times larger than those of any hotel chain). Therefore, it is worth exploring the reasons behind the AIRBNB phenomenon and the relative value of this type of accommodation when compared to others.
What does AIRBNB offer travelers and what lessons can hoteliers learn from it?
Analyzing the brand's approach, Airbnb’s success lies in its ability to take advantage of technology and create a digital experience of superior quality to the rest. It is also worth analyzing its approach as a phenomenon, and observing how AIRBNB adapts the experience from the destination towards the user and not based on price and availability, as most portals do. In this way, the approach becomes more natural.
This approach emphasizes the importance of hotels learning to pass on the experience long before the traveler arrives at the hotel. Examples of this are the provision of basic information about prices, comments and amenities, as well as a detailed description of the characteristics of the accommodation and destination, and how the host interacts with the local environment. To summarize the valuable contribution of AIRBNB, this article will look at a series of approaches by which to compare our work at hotels or any other kind of tourist accommodation.
Working with quality photographs, which allow the visitor to view the accommodation from a unique and different perspective. It is important to remember that mages provide an important element of emotional attachment to the accommodation. In order to be effective, it is essential that they focus on the parts where the traveler spends his / her stay, presenting images from the guest’s point of view and with the right amount of light, and enriched by descriptions that help the user to reinforce their opinion about the place or space.
Updating, in real time, the place’s advantages and idiosyncrasies, enhancing interactivity between the host and the destination. The uniqueness of a lodging’s characteristics and its peculiarities is what makes it attractive to tourists. Predictable standardization and controlled heterogeneity offer added value to the large number of accommodations that AIRBNB has at is disposal. The combination of authenticity and identity will generate a powerful force of attraction towards tourists.
A high price does not guarantee a more luxurious experience, but can suggest exclusivity in terms of authenticity. Breaking the traditional price chain based on amenities or luxury, AIRBNB defines exclusivity in another way: exclusivity is not a measurement of how glamourous something is, but rather the ability to offer a unique and unrepeatable experience.
Customizing the experience with great attention to detail. The large volume of hosts on the AIRBNB platform and its completely independent management provide you with customized services based on very specific traveler profiles. The hotel can hardly compete with the extreme customization of many of AIRBNB's accommodation units, but can specialize in the most interesting niches, depending on the facilities that it has available.
Asking for consistent, highly customized feedback regarding possible improvements in your accommodation. Constant, balanced and direct communication between travelers and hosts forces the latter to constantly innovate and improve their accommodation. The platform’s philosophy, which socializes the service and creates greater trust, makes it possible to implement permanent improvements in the traveler’s experience.