Airbnb learns from leading hotel brands

Airbnb brand growth

Airbnb is taking lessons from leading hotel brands for continued growth and economic impact.

Airbnb is not a new brand, it has been around for a while and there is a lot of content on the innovative approach the brand takes towards hospitality. Recently Airbnb published the economic impact that the brand is having on local economies. There is no doubt that Airbnb is growing fast and becoming more popular and in doing so seems to be changing the way we consume hospitality and challenging the big brands in hospitality.

Airbnb is more than just a place to stay – it taps into the vast store of knowledge that local people have. It empowers consumers with a more authentic travel experience and it is this dimension which is leading to an increase in consumers using the service.

To ensure it continues to grow, Airbnb has recently started taking lessons from the larger hospitality brands to add another dimension to its service offering.

In an interview with Fast Company, Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder said his idea is to create a portfolio of new services that make the Airbnb experience more consistent from stay to stay, and that can generate additional revenue. One starting point: a cleaning service that will offer fresh sheets and towels to Airbnb proprietors. Other ideas have included how customers can get from the airport to their accommodation. This approach to thinking beyond just the stay itself is another illustration of Airbnb changing the tourism paradigm.

Airbnb spends a lot of time educating proprietors on what makes good experiences and how to ensure guests enjoy the experience of Airbnb with dedicated content on their blog. It’s a big task to educate proprietors, but in doing so, it is improving the whole overall experience for guests.

Chesky said that Airbnb is “full-blown hospitality brand, which delivers a seamless end-to-end experience when customers travel”. It’s aiming to change the way consumers perceive travel and the experience of staying in a hotel to encourage more people to experience the Airbnb way of hospitality.

A report on the economic impact it is having on the tourism industry in Sydney found that Airbnb supported AUD $214 million in local economic activity in one year, including many neighborhoods and local sites that haven’t benefitted from tourism in the past.

Airbnb hosts help their guests discover less-visited locales — 98 percent of hosts suggest local restaurants, cafes, bars and shops in their neighborhoods to their guests which gives another dimension to the hospitality industry. This adds a whole different dimension to the hospitality offering.

Airbnb guests spend AUD $1,822 over the course of their trip compared to average tourists who spend AUD $1,071, suggesting that tourists who use Airbnb are individually more valuable.

As Airbnb continues to grow and gain a larger percentage of the hospitality market, large hotels need to take note of these trends and see what they can do to match this level of local knowledge and advice. The ability of Airbnb to fill this missing gap is what sets them apart in the current market, and unless larger hotels follow suit, they may soon find their market share decreasing.

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects

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