We all know that Airbnb has revolutionised the hospitality world in only 7 years of life. Many hotels are facing hard times to adapt to the changes brought by this new comer to the industry, however, instead of trying to fight the enemy, big hotel brands should play smart and learn from Airbnb how to improve their services and increase customer loyalty.
As simply as it may sound, what really makes Airbnb so attractive is the ability of making people feel home wherever they go. So, why is it so hard for hoteliers to recreate a non touristic environment and make people feeling like local people while visiting places they’ve never been to?
Aside from a few little exceptions, big brand hotels are still suggesting very touristic and over rated activities solutions around the hotel’s neighbourhood. This is not anymore attractive for an audience that is looking more and more for experiences that are off from the major market, especially when it comes to millennials. Indeed, travellers today want to eat the specialties offered by restaurants that get supplied by local farmers’ markets; they want to relax in private beaches that look like hidden paradises; and they love to meet in exclusive clubs or in-house parties where all the local people go. All this information is easy to get when you are an insider (or you are hosted like a local person like it happens with Airbnb), but it is definitely harder to get when you are a global franchise brand. So how hoteliers can get more localised? Technology comes in their help.
The app world is offering a wide range of solutions tailored for travellers that want to visit and experience places like locals. Apps like Detour or Feastly help people to be guided around the city and its neighbourhood with the eyes of people that have been living there for years and allowing also to eat and to experience the real local food made by local people in their own houses.
So what’s the next step for big brand hotels? Two words: 3.0 concierge. Integrate, embrace and partner with the app world and give personalised services to guests according to the experience they are looking for while travelling. A powerful booking engine, a good check in experience and a customised offer for the guest’s journey are the three key success points to make a hotel’s brand unforgettable.