Local Services, a trend or big business for hotels?
By Spencer Nguyen, Graduate Teaching Assistant at University of Houston
With the recent popularity and innovations in share economy apps such as Airbnb and Uber, hotels and other industries in the tourism realm, are facing a new entrant to the hospitality market. Furthermore, the expansion of share economy apps has proven the need for hotel brands to rethink their own practices and how they serve their customer. According to forbes: "the research shows that in the 10 cities with the largest Airbnb market share in the US, the entry of Airbnb resulted in 1.3 percent fewer hotel nights booked and a 1.5 percent loss in hotel revenue." with a reduction in Average Room Rate, what can existing hotels do to bring business back into the hotel?
I currently work at a privately-owned hotel in the heart of downtown Houston. We are a full-service brand and provide a plethora of spa and yoga services. Typically, the business that comes from the spa department, are travelers and guests of the hotel. What if hotels started to follow suit? Produce a downloadable mobile app, brand it in a similar way Accor Hotels have created their own share economy app? I believe that this could be a way for hotels increase profits as well as give their specialist employees (fitness instructors, spa specialists, etc.) an extra way to gain business. Further implications could suggest that revolutionizing the way hotels engage with the local community, could bring a new network of local business opportunities. Hotels could be seen as a service provider as well as become dual hatted as a network of local services, that could be utilized by travelers and locals alike, bringing growth to small business. By embracing share economy apps, hotels can use this to their advantage to increase brand awareness and provide the local community with alternative options for local services.
- Knowledge, H. W. (2018, February 27). The Airbnb Effect: Cheaper Rooms For Travelers, Less Revenue For Hotels. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from this link
- Ting, D. (2017, February 23). Accor CEO: We Want to Transform the Way Everyone Uses Hotels. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from this link