Is st a savvy move for Indie Hotels to post on Airbnb?
Airbnb, which has long been seen as a direct adversary to hotel companies, recently opened its platform up to independent and boutique hotels looking to boost their audiences
Now that Airbnb has opened up its increasingly popular platform to independent and boutique hotels, there is a new opportunity for these businesses to reach expanded segments of travelers.
Some properties that have posted on the platform, however, have reported finding a different booking experience through Airbnb than they are otherwise accustomed to. To understand this dynamic and why it matters, one must note that Airbnb has long been viewed as a direct adversary to the hospitality industry and specifically to hotels. With this in mind, experts have reported that the platform presents a set of pros and cons for any boutique hotels considering using it to expand the range of their postings.
The Benefits for Boutique Hotels Posting on Airbnb
The benefits for boutique hotels that post on Airbnb are pretty straightforward. Posting on the platform comes at a relatively low cost compared to other channels, including online travel agencies that have become so popular in recent years.
The main benefit of Airbnb is that it is a growing platform that often gives hotels access to a different segment of users than they might otherwise connect with on more traditional sties. Airbnb first announced that it would be opening to boutique hotels in February, in part so that it could offer its users more options to choose from in any given city.
Four new property types were offered on the site, that group now consists of “vacation home, unique space, B&B and boutique,” the last of which is where hotels would likely fall. As such, early indications are that Airbnb also has a lower commission structure than many online booking agencies.
The Cons for Boutique Hotels Posting on Airbnb
That said, many experts believe that Airbnb is far from an ideal platform for hotels looking to boost their revenues. In spite of its lower commission structure, there are inherent challenges for Airbnb when it comes to collecting and posting openings for boutique and independent hotels.
One of the biggest challenges is that there is a massive amount of competition on Airbnb fueled by how easy it is for providers of all type to post lodgings on the platform. This, in turn, makes it far more difficult for small hotel properties to post offerings in a way that stands out from the pack.
Experts also say that there are significant operational challenges inherent to working with Airbnb since the platform does not yet integrate with typical property management systems the way that most OTAs currently do, and because of this each booking has to be taken off of Airbnb and manually logged into a property’s existing PMS.
Let’s take a look at a few boutique hotel projects currently underway:
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