The Conflict between Airbnb and Traditional Hotels: Untapped Potential.
Since its creation in 2008, the startup Airbnb has known a real success! But this success was accompanied by the reluctance of the hotel industry actors. Indeed, we can observe a similar scheme to the Uber and the Taxis confrontation: there is an ongoing underground war.
The 30 billion dollars’ worth company refreshed the way people look at travelling. By offering currently unoccupied private accommodations Airbnb increased the range of places to spend the holidays in enormously. The company manages to combine comfort and considerable discounts, creating a huge advantage over hotels. According to Forbes, 70% of Airbnb users choose it because of the low price and more than 50% choose the start up because of the individual furnishing and equipment some places provide. The company’s success is proven by the fact, that 90% of the users were content with their experience.
Hotels, naturally opposing the new competitor, tried pressuring the governments of their respective countries into implementing stronger regulations which created a feud between Airbnb and the traditional hotels.
A potential synergy between the two players
But if the two actors can set their differences aside, they could compensate their own weaknesses by cooperating with each other. By adopting Airbnb’s strategy and offering more diverse accommodations, the hotels could easily integrate their pool of resources into the app. This would solve Airbnb’s problem of struggling to provide a steady supply of rooms in all areas requested. Furthermore, it could expand the range of customers. Traditional hotel features may benefit Airbnb’s process of professionalization while reducing uncertainty for customers and providing a certain consistency some consumers are looking for.
While certain actors provoke an escalation of the conflict by suggesting similarities between Airbnb and terrorists, some hotel owners have realized potential emerging and started offering certain rooms via Airbnb’s platform.