Much of the discussion during last week’s Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, TN centered around the impact the Airbnb’s are having on the world’s lodging industry. Is this really a new trend or has this type of lodging option existed for quite some time under a different name in order to appeal to the millennials? There are boarding room rentals, vacation home rentals, bed and breakfasts and even timeshare options.
So, what is it about Airbnb’s that seems to have the lodging industry up in arms? From what experts have been able to ascertain, it appears that the playing field justisn’t level when it comes to the rules and regulations the lodging industry must play by.
From the customer’s viewpoint, it’s all about the experience and of course, lower room rates. And not necessarily in that order. While associations like AH&LA lobby Capitol Hill to ensure fairness within the lodging industry, it would behoove the hotel industry to do their research to determine exactly what drives a customer to an Airbnb other than price. Then try and embrace and incorporate those differences in order to enhance the visitor’s stay. It may prove to be a little difficult to compete price-wise, but where the lodging industry has the upper hand is in its ability to create new and improved experiences by using the vast amount of resources available.
Change is inevitable. We’ve seen it with the taxi cab services vs. Uber, travel agentsvs. OTA’s. It’s about staying creative and relevant. There is a saying here at Cicero’s Development: “keep flexible, because tomorrow it’ll be different." This attitude can be applied to industries around the world.
To learn more about Cicero’s Development, visit our website at www.cicerosdev.com, or contact our founder, Sam J. Cicero at (630) 417-0927.