As a substitute for the traditional lodging facilities, including hotels, hostels and short-term rentals, the increasing supply of Airbnb properties is no doubt making an impact on hotels' bottom lines. So, can hotels stop the growth of Airbnb?
Hotels are working hard to fight against the competition from Airbnb, other room-sharing websites and online travel agents (OTAs). For example:
Hotels are encouraging travelers to search and make reservations directly on the hotels' websites by offering special discounts if they book directly, even though this strategy might possibly push Airbnb and OTAs to work closely together against hotels.
Hotels are responding to the shifting needs of customers by introducing new brands and through acquisitions. The merger of Marriott and Starwood is a good example.
Most recently, hotels are planning for a lobbying push over the Priceline-Expedia "monopoly," in addition to the legislation push toward Airbnb. Hotels want to play a "fair" game in the competition with Airbnb and OTAs. So far, hotels have successfully convinced legislators to impose stricter regulations on room-sharing operators in several locations, including San Francisco, Vancouver, Amsterdam, and London.
Challenges that Airbnb faces
Despite Airbnb's phenomenal growth since its inception in August 2008, the company is facing more challenges lately.
The question is: Will those challenges slow down Airbnb's growth?
Airbnb's strategies for growth
Airbnb wants to become more than just a leading room-sharing platform in the market, as suggested in the following moves taken by Airbnb recently:
Airbnb acquired a couple of travel service companies, including Luxury Retreats and Tilt, as the company is getting ready to become a full-service travel company.
Airbnb wants business travelers, too. Not only has the company launched a website that tailors to business travelers, but they also work closely with the hosts to ensure the listings meet business travelers' needs. The most recent move Airbnb took was to introduce new booking tools that were specifically designed for business travelers.