Excerpt from LinkedIn
The next years promise to offer a fascinating duel between two very different type of internet giants in a quest to own the $555-billion global accommodation market. Challenger Airbnb, posterchild of the Sharing Economy, is striking hard and fast to become the new King, but current leader Booking.com seems well suited to extend its phenomenal growth track for another decade. Who has the better cards to win the game?
The lines between private and hotel accomodation are blurring. Phocuswright most recent study among Airbnb bookers showed that the key drivers for booking a privat accommodation were the same than for hotel bookers: price and location (meet local people and experience local culture ranked 3d and 4th respectively).
Airbnb seems to have acknowledged this fact and is pushing forward major transformational changes that were announced with great fanfare these last weeks:
- Integrating hotels and Bed-and-Breakfast content into their offering via 3d party property management tools such as Siteminder and ThinkReservation
- Creating a new category type of properties labelled "Airbnb plus" that have to pass a 100-items-check list to ensure certain standardized, hospitality-like quality criteria’s.
- Introducing a loyalty scheme for so called "Superguests", borrowed from traditional concepts of hospitality,
- Building a hotel-like lodging concept in Florida by partnering with real estate developer Newgard Development Group
The endgame of all these moves? Airbnb becoming the leader in the online accommodation sector. His CEO Brain Chesky announced it loud and clear last week:
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