Airbnb – The Invasion
13th November 2019
With Airbnb on the rise, homeowners who own various properties in tourist areas is becoming a popular option – which contracts space for an income.
The concept of Airbnb has risen over time and currently occupies in 191 countries and more than 81,000 cities worldwide.
As the tourism industry continues to grow, so does the demand for more affordable rentals, thus encourages the new trend of homeowners to sublet more free space.
Hotels rest uneasy with the growth of Airbnb as cheaper alternatives, more individual space and less booking hassle has caused major issues between the hotel industry and Airbnb.
Airbnb provides a wide selection of places to choose from and also different property types. From single rooms, apartments and entire houses to yacht’s, house boats and even a castle.
Property guests can search Airbnbs database not only by date and location but also by price, type of property, number of rooms and amenities.
Airbnb has chosen to expand their offerings to potential guests and now include Airbnb Experiences. Guests can now plan their trip in more detail by searching for experiences on offer within the particular location they plan on staying at.
Airbnb protects their guests by holding the payment for the property 24 hours after checking in before releasing it to the host, which in turn protects the guests and hosts if any issues arise.
You might not get what you expect
When booking accommodation through Airbnb you take the risk of not having the assurance that the property is as advertised, this is due to hosts creating their own listings.
There are a number of additional fees that Airbnb impose on each booking, such as guest service fee of 0%- 20% on top of the reservation fee, this is to cover the customer support and other services. Guests could incur bank fees due to the currency difference.
Guests from the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway may be subject to a value added tax (VAT).
The battle between Airbnb and Hotel chains
A campaign backed by the Hotel Association of New York City Inc. and the union that represents hotel workers launched an ad that linked Airbnb’s short term rentals to public security threats.
The ad sets the stage for fear-mongering and scare tactics to turns guests away from Airbnb listings, launching a campaign called “Who’s In Your Building?”.
However, Airbnb fought back with regarding the ad as an “outrageous scare tactic”. They launched a campaign called “Scare Tactics” fighting back. This example of ads are just a small battle in a much larger war between the companies.
Issues to be resolved
Airbnb endlessly argues the benefits it provides to cities and residents. This is because it offers financial benefits to homeowners and provides endless accommodation options for tourist’s.
Issues Airbnb have faced or are facing:
- Legal issues – Local housing laws and regulation
- Tax issues
- False advertisements and scams
- Tourism laws
- Discrimination against guests
Airbnb have responded to these issues through various strategies including a public relations (PR) campaign. This was because in 2017, Airbnb was accused of discriminating against guests to which Airbnb responded with an important video called “We Accept” which features those of different races and genders and introduced a non-discriminatory policy on their site (as seen below).
Overall, Airbnb has grown massively since it’s launch in 2008. Airbnb has brought to the table many advantages and disadvantages that have shaped its unique success. The reasons Airbnb are so successful is the price compared to hotel chains. However, this has caused some backlash with the hotel industry resulting in major competitive actions and compeiting in seeking alternative advantages such as incentives or changing their target audience. However, despite this, Airbnb somehow manage to face each issue with a campaign, slogan or competitive advantage encouraging more people to choose Airbnb which has resulted in Airbnb continuing their success and still on the rise against hotel chains.
The main question is, how far will hotels go to compete against Airbnb?
Will Airbnb continue to rise or are they just a passing phase?
What are YOUR thoughts or experiences of Airbnb vs Hotel chains?