What if Airbnb built a hotel? Ian Schrager said on stage at this year’s BLLA conference that, in some ways, Airbnb is the boutique hotel of one. So, what if Airbnb became the boutique hotel of many?
If Airbnb builds a hotel they will leverage their platform to provide accommodations and services more uniquely tailored to guests and with much greater cost efficiency.
What might that look like…?
100% Direct Booking…
In the case of most hotels there is no significant advantage for the traveler to book direct, rather than through an OTA, and hotels have lost customer loyalty and revenue as a result.
However, just as Airbnb now facilitates booking, guest-host communication, travel planning, and feedback all within the same interface, booking direct would be the only logical option. In fact, guests would be compelled to do so – as their own traveler score would depend on it (just like with Uber, the consumer also gets a score).
Not Even The Same Building…
Not constrained to the form factor of a traditional hotel, this is where, from a design perspective, things could get really interesting; the notion of an all in one building or specific area need no longer apply.
Indeed, the Airbnb hotel could be completely decentralized across an entire area. With every room different, escaping the generic by default.
Local Hotspots As Public Spaces…
In keeping with Airbnb’s mission to have their guests “belong anywhere,” guests would all be served unique, authentic experiences, perfectly tailored to their local surroundings.
Instead of a basement gym and the hotel restaurant, Airbnb’s hotel’s amenities and facilities would be provided by partnerships to the coffee shops, fitness studios and other local public spaces guests would want to access.