If there are any hospitality researchers our there reading this, I’d love to see a poll that asks hotel managers what they think of AirBnb. Obviously there would be sour grapes, especially among those who feel that market share has been lost and professional standards have been compromised. There would also be small percentage of forward-thinking hotel managers who think AirBnb has been overwhelmingly positive, and that the industry is better for it. But the majority, I’m guessing, would be pragmatists who think there are pros and cons to the ways in which this maverick startup changed (and continues to change) the industry.
One of the most amazing facts about Airbnb is that, despite being more valuable than any hotel chain in the world, it has no physical inventory. The company provides branding, online infrastructure, a booking platform, and a quality control system — but all of its properties and rooms belong to other people. The fact that Airbnb has seen such astronomical growth and valuation without owning a single building makes you wonder how this business model wasn’t exploited sooner.Read More
It’s been almost ten years since AirBnB was founded by two San Francisco residents who couldn’t afford the rent. The idea was to put an air mattress in their living room and rent the space to short term travelers. Now, the company is more valuable than any hotel chain on the planet. The idea of “living like a local” is a powerful narrative that has captured a significant piece of the global hospitality market, and to say that the founders are eating well is something of an understatement.Read More