I started this blog post 4 months ago and it was abandoned in favour of more exciting posts about food and road trips, so it’s not as on trend as I’d hoped but there we are. Sorry.
The Airbnb generation is a weird one. We love to travel, and we don’t like to pay a lot for it. We don’t mind sharing people’s homes, or all the information about our lives for that matter. We want living rooms, not just hotel rooms. We want to feel at home when we’re abroad. As such, the hotel and travel space is changing.
In the last 6 months, both Ritz Carlton and Hilton – massive players in the international hotel space – have re-worked their business approaches in order to capture the Airbnb market.
First off, Ritz Carlton had re-branded in an attempt to appeal more to a younger audience. I do think their redesign looks great, but the category is changing so much that I’m not sure a new font is going to help you keep up. You need to shake up your offering.
Hilton on the other hand are doing exactly that. They have launched a new chain called Tru (not to be confused with the Tru Hotel and Resort chain), which are priced between a hostel and a hotel (and on par with many airbnb’s) and decked are out accordingly.
“Tru by Hilton is aiming to reach travelers with a “millennial mindset,” even if they’re not, strictly speaking, millennials.” – Forbes
Their aim is to bring a more relaxed hotel experience, with lots of common areas like hostels and Airbnb’s that people are coming to expect. Ever in search of a deal, consumers expect better prices, so they have addressed this too.
Really I think this is a necessity if large hotel chains are going to survive, and Hilton have even predicted this might become their biggest spin off. From the mock ups it looks like they’re doing a nice job of it, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for the visitor reviews.
“That’s where the real demand is — in the midscale segment of the business…So what that means for us is instead of signing as many DoubleTrees, Hiltons, Conrads and Waldorfs by numbers, you’ll start to see a lot more Hilton Garden Inns and Hamptons.” – Bloomberg
While this is going on in the western world, AirBnB are looking to China in order to grow their business in the East.
I don’t think Airbnb is going to slow down anytime soon, so it’s interesting to see how the industry is responding. Watch this space.