Hotels

Hotels need to up their tech to stay ahead

With 150 million users, over half a million hosts and a valuation of over $30 billion – it’s no surprise Airbnb has an edge over hotels.

And that edge is: technology. Hotels need to act strategically to stay relevant – Airbnb had four million listings worldwide last week.

And that may mean it has “more active listings than any of the five largest hotel brands have rooms,” according to Skift.

Active listings means than units have to be rented at least once a month – and according to some experts, hotels will, or are, losing out against Airbnb because the digital experience is lacking on their sites and booking platforms.

Hotel staff may interact with guests in real life (in contrast to most Airbnb listings) but according to the founder of e-commerce optimisation platform Voyat, Benjamin Habbel, hotels need to invest in both the digital experience and the real-life experience.

“The overall strategy for an independent hotel or a brand is to make the most of the thing that they have that Airbnb doesn’t have, which is they actually interact with the guest in real life,” Habbel told Skift.

“They have the opportunity to extend and amplify that interaction by using chat-based or other tools before or after a stay to communicate with a guest, for example,” he added.

He also praised the Airbnb app when compared with hotel booking systems.

“From a technology standpoint, the number-one way to compete with Airbnb is for hotels to get their act together on design and e-commerce.”

“Nothing beats the logged in experience of using the Airbnb app,” Habbel told Skift.

“You get personalised recommendations. Pages on the app load quickly.”

So with younger generations looking to book online or through an app, Airbnb seems to be the easier option – there are listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries, with accommodation options ranging from someone’s couch to luxe New York apartments.

But Mark Morrison, Vice President of Owner Strategy and Services at Expedia, says that hotels can win out against Airbnb by solving a few simple glitches.

“Families and other groups sometimes like to have rooms side-by-side. But because most hotels don’t have the technology to make it easy to book guaranteed connected room, consumers turn to Airbnb,” he told Skift.

Habbel also said there was hope for hotels – if they act strategically.

“Hotels need to steal basic things out of the Airbnb and online travel agency playbooks, like making their webpages load quickly on mobile devices and reducing the number of clicks it takes to finalise a transaction.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

by Vanessa Bussoletti

It doesn’t get more jam-packed than this, readers. Unless you count our jam sandwich because that’s overflowing all over our desk.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“We’re all getting robbed”: Vic tourism hit by scam

by Hannah Edensor

At least nine Victorian tourist attractions have been hit by a credit card scam. We too were busted for buying clothes under our boss’s name but only to avoid buyers shame in the office.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

What can you actually take from hotel rooms?

We could tell you this was an exclusive insight into what you can get away with stealing from hotels, but we’d be lying. We nicked it off an online forum.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

At last, Qantas inflight Wi-Fi takes off

by Hannah Edensor

As 56% of travellers get stoked about Qantas’ inflight Wi-Fi, our concern lies with the other 44% who clearly hate looking at cats on YouTube.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travel warnings for Gallipoli after terror threats

by Hannah Edensor

New updates on Smart Traveller have upgraded warnings for Turkey with news Anzac Day commemorations could be a target of terror attacks.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flavour of the Week

Find out who won new roles & who fell on their swords in this week’s Flavour of the Week. Yes, we added that sword bit for effect.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruising for young travellers is finally here

This first of its kind cruise brand had us at ‘Wine & Paint Classes’ because it combines two of our favourite things. Well, one, we hate painting.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

52% of travellers swayed by Facebook photos: study

All of our Facebook friends’ photos inspired us to travel. And by ‘friends’ we mean the public profiles we stalk because we only have 4 friends.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Is your boss the Executive of the Year?

We tried to nominate ourselves for this award, but apparently ignoring the boss and pretending to be your own boss doesn’t actually make you CEO.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Final week of LAX agent incentive kicks off

We’re re-running this again from Monday (minus the typos). You get déjà vu & we do less work. A win-win, we say.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

A world of special Sunshine Coast Deals

by Vanessa Bussoletti

Visit Sunshine Coast has partnered with Escape Travel to launch a major new campaign offering a wide range of activities […]

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Big Fat Hotel Wrap

by Vanessa Bussoletti

If you read one thing today make sure it’s Travel Weekly’s hotel wrap. Actually, your medication instructions and train timetable probably take priority.

Share

CommentComments