Airbnb is coming for your kids, what is the deal with chain contracts? how will technology happen in hotels?
Airbnb vs. Hotels the battle for community
The battle keeps going. Some hoteliers think they are winning. Some Airbnb staff think they're winning. But this battle isn't about legislation, it's about guests. And somehow, incumbents tend to focus on keeping their position and "rights" while disruptors tend to focus on serving the customer better. But customers tend to buy what they want. So begins a long painful "battle". In this battle however hotels have an "unfair" advantage, Lobbies and community building. Ironically that's what Airbnb has been trying to be all along. Some wise words from Ian Schrager.
Idea of things to come in hotels
There's increasing talk about bringing tech into hotels, in fact per this article it is "top of mind" for hotels. Lower in this email I link to another discussion down this topic. These forecasts are interesting. I hope some of them never happen (adding resort fees to more markets). Then there's the tech side which is going to be fun. We just need to make sure it isn't just a bunch of gadgets. It is always interesting to see what others predict for the industry.
To Chain or not to Chain?
An interesting discussion on LinkedIn, diverging from an article on how to renegotiate one's chain contract. In the US chains still hold a huge amount of financial and brand power. In Europe much less so. But what about new markets? Will they need to go through the chain phase to grow? Or are OTAs and Reviews enough to keep hotels full and sticking to a "brand standard". Because those are the main two functions that the brands brought. The disruption is slow in those parts. Maybe it will never totally disrupt but rather evolve into a new model.
Do hotels need better tech or do guests?
Do hotels need more tech? Do we need applications to control the lights? Is a voice activated room really a major improvement for the guest. Hardly. In fact it is sometimes slightly sad to see that the big "room of the future" isn't an exponentially better guest experience but an exponentially more gadgety experience. The discussion on LinkedIn was quite interesting. What if we used technology to invisibly remove each point of friction so we could bring back the magic to hotels. The magic where staff just know what one wants next and has already prepared it.