There’s no shortage of press coverage about how Airbnb has becoming a formidable disruptor in the hospitality arena. From incredible business growth based on increased consumer demand to hotels acquiring short-term-rental startups to remain competitive, Airbnb has fundamentally changed travel.
Though, could Airbnb become like the sector that it disrupted? In December 2016, the company announced that it is going to help travelers also book their flights – this way it can become the hub for “all things travel” for guests.
What many may not realize is that hotels have been offering these types of full-service travel packages for many years – where hotel rooms and flights are all bundled and booked through a special hotel micro-site (often with a “vacation” theme).
With this move, we could ultimately see hotels and Airbnb meeting in the middle when it comes to competing against each other. Of course, the key for both the “disruptor” and the “disrupted” is to never lose sight of the traveler – with the idea of helping them throughout the entire trip.
This could also include the implementation of solutions that help travelers find customized amenities that meet their specific needs. Although hotels are now taking advantage of solutions that offer tailored recommendations for area restaurants, culture events, and much more.
The key is being able to continually please the traveler in ways that are highly personalized, and ultimately create long-term loyalty. While competing to ultimately become “the same,” both hospitality providers and Airbnb should always keep this concept top of mind.
In the end, the guest wins. However, it just remains to be seen which travel channel will win – hotels or Airbnb.