Over the past couple of years, there have been many studies and reports that highlight how Airbnb is a threat to major hoteliers. One study estimated that hotels lose approximately $450 million in direct revenues per year to AirBnb. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Airbnb has embarked on a marketing campaign based on the premise of having travelers live in destinations – as opposed to merely being tourists. The concept is that by staying in an Airbnb, you will be able to live like a true local, and have an “experience of a lifetime.”
Aiming to appeal to Millennial travelers, this campaign is certainly different when it comes to hospitality marketing, but are they excluding a large group of travelers?
This is the main theme behind a recent Skift Magazine quest article that discusses how travelers may not want to actually live like a local. For example, when many people travel to Paris, they actually want to enjoy some of the world-class tourist sites, which includes the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre.
“The big group that’s being excluded is also people who travel from certain parts of the world to see other parts of the world. People who spend their hard-earned money to do so. People who, yes, sometimes stay in hotels precisely because it’s NOT like being at home. Because sometimes they don’t want to do the stuff they normally do – they’re on vacation trying to do stuff that they never do, or have never done before” stated the article.
In addition, when you stay at an Airbnb, you have the option of cooking your own meals, which may not be an experience of a lifetime. For instance, many travelers enjoy the cuisine that is offered by their hotels, as well as top restaurants in the area.
While Airbnb can certainly be seen as a threat, major hotel brands can counter this by focusing on providing a guest experience tailored to the traveler, such as those people who want to be tourists.
By staying in a world-class hotel that offers specific amenities and services to different categories of tourists, you could potentially provide an “experience of a lifetime.” More important, you don’t need to shop for groceries and cook your own meals.