Thoughts, Anyone? Is Airbnb a Threat to Hilton?

Old Jan 10, 16, 11:57 pm
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Thoughts, Anyone? Is Airbnb a Threat to Hilton?

http://www.businessinsider.com/hilto...tition-2015-10
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:51 am
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My thoughts are that any hotel executive who doesn't see Airbnb as a threat doesn't understand Airbnb's business and customer base. One example: I've stopped booking hotels in Paris. I can rent a nice apartment there, in Bastille, Marais, or St. Germain, for as little as 1 night, for between 25 and 50% of the cost of a mediocre hotel room in a less desirable location.

It is a common mistake during economic booms to believe the good times will last forever. They won't, and when the downturn comes, and occupancy rates drop, the hotels will realize that Airbnb is a direct threat to their bottom line.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 10:52 am
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We are looking at alternatives in a few cities. Though a nice fancy hotel is sometimes good, we like the idea of a place with a fridge. And a separate room if our sleep schedule is different. And a laundry option other than insane hotel pricing.

And, we get all this for less money.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
We are looking at alternatives in a few cities. Though a nice fancy hotel is sometimes good, we like the idea of a place with a fridge. And a separate room if our sleep schedule is different. And a laundry option other than insane hotel pricing.

And, we get all this for less money.
We only travel for leisure and the extra benefits that a hotel stay offers (executive lounge, spa, pool, breakfast, concierge...) are the things that make travelling worth it for us.
Things I don't want to do while being on holiday is having to make coffee in the morning, doing dishes, making up beds...
While I understand that AirBnb is the way to go for many people, it is definitely not for us...
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Old Jan 11, 16, 3:28 pm
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this is only marginally related to HH

if it stays on a general path I will close o move the thread. Thanks

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Old Jan 11, 16, 3:59 pm
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+ 1 on the travel habits and amenities

I feel that I have a pretty good idea regarding the consistency of a Conrad or Hilton versus relying on an individual homeowner and their description.

Originally Posted by Delectatio View Post
We only travel for leisure and the extra benefits that a hotel stay offers (executive lounge, spa, pool, breakfast, concierge...) are the things that make travelling worth it for us.
Things I don't want to do while being on holiday is having to make coffee in the morning, doing dishes, making up beds...
While I understand that AirBnb is the way to go for many people, it is definitely not for us...
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Old Jan 11, 16, 5:11 pm
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I think its a threat that is most prevalent to cities where hotels have got away with charging exorbitant rates for what is often poor service and a legacy product like Paris AND with limited room capacity that even in the longterm cannot get better. Don't forget hotels are charging €40 for breakfast there...

Hilton will never be able to complete with Airbnb in cities like Berlin because they want a margin that is unachievable and a competitor who's time is worth nothing, ie. the self employed without staff, renting a flat or two. Airbnb gives them a platform that simply didn't exist a few years ago and a platform that is easy to use for the buyer and offers something unique, again something that costs money.

I reckon they will try and respond by going extremely no frills just like the airlines have done.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 6:10 pm
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I don't see how this discussion can be anything OTHER than a "general path", unless one thinks that Hilton is some sort of special unique snowflake of a hotel chain vis-a-vis their competitive relationship with Airbnb that wouldn't apply to SPG/Marriott/Accor/etc, and I think that's simply not true.

Anyways, I think there are a number of reasons why the statements made by the Hilton CEO are correct:

- meeting facilities. This is a HUGE reason for hotels to exist and drives a LOT of business. Let me know when Airbnb rentals offer conference space for a couple hundred people (or more) and THEN they might be competitive against that.

- corporate business. Also something where Airbnb is going to have problems. If I need to put people up for a week at a time on a visit, am I going to want to have to use whatever random Airbnb apartment is available? Or do I want a preferred hotel vendor in a specific, convenient location to my corporate site where I've negotiated a specific rate?

- leisure travel involving spas/destinations. Yes, you can Airbnb a condo on the Las Vegas Strip, but the inventory is fairly limited compared to hotel rooms.

- convenience factor for short trips. I certainly have used Airbnb for the exact same reason Kacee did; an apartment rental in Paris for a week in Montmartre makes a LOT more sense than a hotel rental, especially when you can get a great prices for it. But it gets a bit more complicated for shorter rentals (cleaning fees and so on add up).

- convenience factor for people who want room service/breakfast downstairs/a spa in the building/a swimming pool and exercise room/daily maid service and so on. Some of this can show up in condo rentals and so on, but it might be tricky. Yes, you can replicate hotel shuttles with Uber. Yes, you can replicate a hotel restaurant with GrubHub. But some people will like one stop shopping.

Airbnb is definitely going to suck out a lot of casual business for specific leisure travel, for sure. It makes a lot of sense for someone spending a week in Paris. I'm not sure how much sense it makes for someone who is fine with a Hampton Inn off the side of the freeway for a night who spends a lot of nights on the road.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 7:34 pm
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In many aspects, Airbnb is not a direct threat to Hilton (in keeping to this thread).

For the corporate travel, employee safety is the company's responsibility. Booking a private property that might not be properly insured nor vetted / inspected for compliance could blow back against the employer should anything happens.

Also, physical safety concerns are more real than at a hotel who typically use card access. While there are bad employees, these are "known" industry risks. With Airbnb, access is easily more likely compromised due to the fact that most of them uses physical keys that are passed from guest to guest. It is all too easy to make a set of duplicates.

In traditional hotels, there are some form of security or ease of access to security in the way of hotel employees on duty. Security cameras are also a norm. For Airbnb, I worry about cameras that spy instead.

Other reasons are already mentioned up thread such as housekeeping on a vacation (?), bringing out the trash, washing up etc?

Personally, I agree that Airbnb does take some business away from the hotels which is GOOD as the industry is ripe for disruption. Imagine how much higher the prices would have gone if these folks who stayed at the Airbnb fought for hotel rooms. But I believe a larger group of these Airbnb stayers would not have stayed in the hotels anyways with their preference. So in essence, the introduction of Airbnb most likely enticed the more budget conscious to start travelling and maybe won over some hotel guests along the way.

I part with this. Most of the road warriors are due to work and their safety is the company's responsibilities. With potential liabilities at stake, the bulk of the business (corporate travel) are unlikely to switch over to Airbnb anytime soon. The road warriors are also unlikely willing to give up their elite status as they work towards lifetime status.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 9:47 pm
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Also AFAIK airbnb is not set up for you extending your stay, and other things you can typically negotiate with most hotels. So for various reasons, it doesn't fit the needs of many business travelers (and some leisure travelers).

If there were a brand that was solely targeting leisure travelers, that might be more threatened by airbnb, but that's not how I picture any of Hilton's brands nor any of the brands of most of their major rivals. I would think it's more small forgettable motels that are more threatened by airbnb, but they've been threatened for years by lower-end-but-higher-quality properties anyway. There's a reason that small forgettable motels often have rates that are both a fraction of lower-midscale-and-up hotels and even undercut much of airbnb's offerings.

Hm, maybe Motel 6 is threatened by airbnb?
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Old Jan 11, 16, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by PayItForward View Post
So in essence, the introduction of Airbnb most likely enticed the more budget conscious to start travelling and maybe won over some hotel guests along the way.
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Hm, maybe Motel 6 is threatened by airbnb?
lol you have no idea what Airbnb's demographic is. It is definitely travelers that Hilton wants. Lots of very sophisticated high income people who, for example, appreciate being able to stay in the 7th when they visit Paris. As opposed to the totally unappealing Hilton options in that city.

While I agree Airbnb is not going to attract much traditional corporate traffic, it is absolutely going to pull high end leisure traffic.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
While I agree Airbnb is not going to attract much traditional corporate traffic, it is absolutely going to pull high end leisure traffic.
I hesitate to put myself as "high end leisure" but I used airbnb when I was in NYC over a Labor Day weekend last year. Hotel rates were crazy given summer and the long weekend so I booked an apartment for a fraction of the price.

Looking at doing the same thing for vacation in Australia this year. The Hilton is ~$220 a night. I can book a place via airbnb 3-4 blocks away that is the same $220 for 4 nights. No brainer.
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Old Jan 12, 16, 12:48 am
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I know for fact when we do conferences in overpriced cities a number of our colleagues opt to give up all Hilton Honor points and other hotel programs and stay at Airbnb properties
They seem to not only save money but love the vast extra space and the ability to get more guests in a house/accommodation

At Comic-con here in San Diego Airbnb set a record with selling accommodations in the city preventing some of the outrageous pricing that hotels here in our area have sold scalped historically during peak event time
This pattern has been reported in media nationwide and is clearly having an impact on pricing
Some folks are ditching their loyalty programs for better accommodations and higher value
Which leads to the question when its just a matter of time when you can earn miles and points when staying at Airbnb properties if you cant already
After all what reasonable person wants to spend 80kor more for a free redemption room and you are sometimes on top of that overpaying for the room in the first place
Fact is they go to the conference at the hotel and stay at Airbnb nearby

Meanwhile Fast forward ten years later Blackstone buys Airbnb

Last edited by 777 global mile hound; Jan 12, 16 at 12:58 am
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