The rise of technology and startups has drastically changed the way we interact with the hospitality industry. Two particularly popular sites are Airbnb and WeWork, which have both revolutionized the world of travel, business and more. Now, the companies are working together and becoming an increasingly powerful presence. Les Roches pricing and revenue expert Riccardo Campione discusses their importance in the industry and their exciting new partnership.
Changing the face of hospitality
Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has disrupted both the hotel and travel industry. It has connected travelers with homeowners willing to rent out their personal space, offered at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hotel room. Another innovative company is WeWork. Launched two years after Airbnb, WeWork disrupted the business industry with a price-tiered offering of shared workspaces, enabling small startups and freelancers to work in an office while enjoying valuable networking opportunities. With the worlds of business, hospitality and travel connected, it is no surprise that the two companies partnered up last fall in the hopes of changing multiple industries.
A bed and desk experience
Both Airbnb and WeWork are designed with young business travelers in mind. In October 2017, they announced their pilot program, designed to provide travelers with the kind of resources (fast Wi-Fi, printers, meeting rooms) usually found in hotel business centers.
When a customer books a room on Airbnb’s site, they have the option to hold a complimentary spot at a WeWork space closest to their accommodation. Clients can socialize with others in the space, making both business and social contacts during their stay. By making business travel convenient, affordable and fun, the partners hope to transform an out-of-town business from a draining chore to an energizing, positive experience.
[quote]Startups like Airbnb and WeWork have the golden room key for customers seeking affordability under a mantle of authenticity.[/quote]
Both Airbnb and WeWork are banking on their shared goal to provide a ready-to-use community through their rentals. Travelers who stay in the homes of residents have easy access to insider knowledge of the territory. WeWork has designed their workspaces to encourage connections between the people who work in them, as well as promote a balance of work-life-fun for their users.
Airbnb’s unstoppable rise
Airbnb continues to expand its influence in the hospitality e-commerce field. It has taken on its strongest competitor, Booking.com, by expanding its site to include traditional B&Bs and boutique hotels (although both have been quietly listing their rooms on the site for the last few years due to Booking.com’s higher rates and commissions).
Airbnb’s additional categories now include Vacation Homes, long-term apartment or cottage rentals, and Airbnb Plus, which guarantees that spaces and their proprietors have been thoroughly vetted. Both of these demonstrate that Airbnb is incorporating hospitality-quality standards. Hosts pay upfront for the service, and guests willingly pay higher rates, in exchange for hi-speed Wi-Fi, hotel-quality beds and other amenities
With Airbnb Plus, the company is targeting higher spending travelers. Add this to its new selection of smaller, traditional hospitality businesses and connection with the millennial-friendly WeWork, and Airbnb nicely rounds out its appeal and ongoing dominance of the market.
As long as there is a middleman to be skipped, startups like Airbnb and WeWork have the golden room key for customers seeking affordability under a mantle of authenticity.