It seems like the hotel industry is in constant head-to-head competition with Airbnb. And frequently, hotel managers try to rival the share-economy company by going through enormous expenses or reinventing the wheel.
But before scheduling renovations for a fitness center and hiring yoga instructors simply to adapt to the wellness trend, hoteliers and hotel managers should first use the resources they already have to excite guests into booking.
Use Experiential Hospitality
These days, experiential travel trumps convenience. And Airbnb rentals not only offer guests a place to rest but bookable experiences during their stay.
Hotel managers should take a page from Airbnb’s booking site. Offer a variety of local events, in-house activities, and seasonal festivities. Even if a hotel doesn’t have an events coordinator, hotels can develop partnerships with neighborhood spas, tour booking agencies, and boutique shops. In addition, hotel management should be hyperlocal and on their toes, able to give expert advice and detailed directions to inquiring guests.
Savvy travelers navigate TripAdvisor to find local things to do. But hotels — after careful market research — are ideally built on the property with a balance of both convenience and within the hippest upcoming neighborhoods. Airbnb listings often lack one of these advantages, either positioned in inconvenient areas or not where the excitements at!
Be Human Through Tech
Airbnb offers both hosts and guests a human experience. But a single host only has so much time to dedicate to potential guests before they decide to book.
For hotels, interacting through social media and responding to customer reviews helps develop meaningful connections with each tentative patron. Hoteliers can communicate and answer questions or concerns and quickly reply or make adjustments, which ultimately builds trust, repeat customers, and more hotel bookings.
Most times, it’s not about luring guests by using similar Airbnb bait. It’s about showcasing the exclusive first-rate amenities a hotel already offers. Instead of trying to perfectly mimic Airbnb’s business model, hotel managers should adapt to it. Use the hotel’s common spaces to their advantage for social experiences. Offer a safe and scenic running route around the hotel’s neighborhood. Create buzz by using a hotel hashtag.
Offer Additional Amenities and Services
A crucial advantage Airbnb has over hotels is the convenience of kitchens and laundry facilities. Guests can choose to prepare their meals to dine in, or even freshen their attire during extended trips.
Most hotels offer restaurants with professional chefs that craft satisfying meals. And most hotels also offer in-house laundry services. It’s no question guests prefer gourmet meals they don’t need to prepare while wearing a crisply pressed dress shirt they didn’t have to iron. But the cost difference drives guests to book Airbnb to save on dining out.
Hotel managers should not only use effective marketing and promotion for these extra amenities but also determine a pricing strategy. For more hotel bookings, setting fair rates to entice guests to partake and even indulge a little in a restaurant’s ambiance or through the laundry services’ convenience.