Airbnb is 'not encroaching' on the Middle East's hotel market stake

Home-sharing giant Airbnb’s general manager for Middle East and Africa, Hadi Moussa, says that the company is not encroaching on the hotel market stake in the cities it operates in and instead is helping diversify the tourist offerings.

As a matter of fact, Moussa points out that more than 89% of Airbnb users choose to stay outside the key hotel districts in a given city.

“We see in general that Airbnb brings in diversification in the types of travellers it can bring to a destination. We’ve done a lot of surveys globally to understand to enquire from people using Airbnb. In general, over 90% of the people say they use Airbnb because they want to live like a local. Over 89% actually stay outside the key hotel districts. And 30% of people say that they would not have travelled if it was not for Airbnb. So, we really believe Airbnb is helping diversify the offering and bring in tourists to a destination,” Moussa explained.

This diversification in source market is also changing the tourism perspective in places like Dubai, Moussa noted, adding that there has been a lot of growth since the company’s debut 10 years ago.

“In case of Dubai, it’s also interesting if you look at the diversification perspective and the types of listings that are available. From a studio apartment, to a one- or two-bedroom apartment, to a villa or a luxury apartment – these kind of offerings helps bring in different kinds of tourists and really helps grow the tide from a tourism perspective,” he added.

Besides diversifying the source market, Moussa said that company has also stirred up business for small boutique hotels across the globe as earlier this year, in February, the company partnered with SiteMinder, a cloud platform for hotels looking to attract guests.

Read rest of the article at Hotelier Middle East