In an era where industries can be completely upended by fast-moving upstarts, many CEOs are concerned about the rapid pace of competitive innovation.
According to this InformationWeek story that highlights an IBM CEO survey, many business leaders see technology and new innovators as being the number one factor that will impact their businesses in the next five years.
In the hospitality arena, a similar situation is happening where “sharing economy” leaders like Uber and Airbnb are embracing strategies that focus on the entire stay cycle for guests. This is causing many hotel brands to re-think how they cater to guests.
In a recent Fast Company profile, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky discussed how he read an introductory textbook on hospitality taught by Cornell’s hotel school in 2013, and had the epiphany that Airbnb would become hospitality brand. The premise behind this is that Airbnb would “no longer be about where you stay, but what you do – and whom you do it with – while you’re there.”
This move could be a signal to further push hospitality brands to focus on the full stay cycle for guests – even more than they do today.
A core component of this will be providing even more personalized experiences for travelers. Of course, this comes down to data and really knowing the guests, which requires the right systems that create a foundation of trust – where guests will be more apt to share their personal data if brands can provide real-time improvements to their journey.
According to this Skift report, it seems that today’s multi-screen world is creating new opportunities for hoteliers “to react in an anytime-anywhere capacity to travelers’ needs.”
The most critical component is actually bringing this real-time, data-driven approach to pleasing guests to life. Many hotel brands may want to amp up their efforts and become laser focused on this – because Airbnb is not resting on its laurels.