By Gabrielle Diepenbrock, Account Manager & Social Media Manager
Since Airbnb’s launch in 2008, more that 115 million travelers have stayed in 3 million Airbnb listings in more than 191 countries.
It’s one of very few privately-held start-ups that can boast profits at such an early stage.
In 2015, according to New York Times, one in three leisure travelers used private accommodations (like Airbnb) rather than hotels.
As travelers increasingly seek and choose alternative lodging options, hotels worldwide attempt to stay relevant.
Here are some trends hotels are grasping onto in the new world of Airbnb:
1. Common areas to socialize and gather
One reason people love Airbnb is because they can rent an entire house to socialize and lounge in with their friends/family.
Hotels are looking to appeal to millennials with smaller rooms and larger/multiple communal spaces.
An example would be Moxy New Orleans.
They have compact and affordable rooms (approximately $69 a night) in addition to a lobby with a full-service bar, games and plenty of charging stations.
2. Genuine customer service
Many travelers love Airbnb because they can ask their host for recommendations on where to go in the area. Hotels are educating and encouraging their employees to give tips to guests -- on where to go, eat, play, explore, etc.
3. Local Partnerships
Travelers want authentic local experiences -- thus the popularity in Airbnb. What can be more authentic than staying at a resident’s house?
Hotels are beginning to showcase their local authenticity by partnering with small/local businesses in their area.
An example is Arlo Hotels in New York City.
Arlo partners with: Miller’s Oath for staff uniforms; Blind Barber for bath amenities; Joe Coffee for roasted coffee beans; Mouth for snack food; and Exit9 for souvenirs.
4. Residential Style
Airbnb enables travelers to feel as if they actually live in the destination they’re visiting rather than feeling like a typical tourist in a cookie-cutter hotel room.
New hotels are now going for interior designs that give off a residential-feel that you might experience at an Airbnb stay.
Roost Apartment Hotel in Philadelphia features apartment-hotel rooms that allow the travelers to feel as if they actually lived downtown -- with the ability to cook, clean and lounge.
5. Digital platforms that make planning fun
An overwhelming portion of the population plan their trips online. Airbnb has created a fun online experience for travelers exploring their adventure options -- featuring maps, destination photos, etc.
Hotel brands like Soho Beach House have begun to develop apps and websites that showcase local content (on the region’s food, art, fashion, etc.).
Hotels are also partnering with start-ups -- to give guests access to digital platforms that give relevant and useful information on the destination.
Marriott International recently worked with a tour and activity-booking start-up PlacePass so their guests can see activities and tours that locals would recommend.