Accor Exec Wary of Big Tech Giants rather than Airbnb

by | Jun 28, 2018 | Chains

Accor Hotels chief brand officer says that tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google are a bigger threat to the hotel industry than competitors like Airbnb. This echoes sentiments of other big brand CEOs. We find out more.

Tech threats to the hotel industry

Accor Hotels’ chief brand officer Steven Taylor warned recently of the ever-increasing threat of digital platforms like Facebook, Google and Amazon to the hotel industry. Far from Airbnb being the biggest threat to the traditional hospitality sector, Taylor asserted that the hotel industry needs to be more aware of big technology corporations who are controlling more and more of the travel market all the time. Taylor said, “We’re watching large technology platforms very carefully. They have ever- increasing influence in the travel space, and that’s why we’re focused on building these ecosystems of brands and loyalty to compete.” He also spoke about the fact that search engines like Google dominate customers’ access to hotels, saying, “If Amazon and Google get to the point where customers are comfortable with just two or three choices when they search for hotels using their voice assistants, that completely disrupts the distribution landscape.”

Hotel groups transforming into travel platforms

To keep up with this burgeoning threat, hotel groups are having to think of ways to diversify their portfolios and grab other corners of the market. One way that Accor is doing this is by transforming its services into an “asset-light lifestyle travel platform”, which encompass more offerings than just simply accommodation. “A large hospitality group can’t compete with large technology platforms without comprehensive brand portfolios that cater to every single human need,” Taylor said. Accor has made numerous acquisitions over recent years in an effort to diversify its portfolio, including branching out into more lifestyle-focused areas that reflect the demands of the modern traveler. Their portfolio now includes homesharing, catering, concierge services and restaurant reservation platforms, as well as traditional direct booking services and loyalty schemes, an area where hotels are able to differentiate themselves when it comes to repeat business.

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