Experts have agreed that the sharing economy is here to stay, but it’s up to hoteliers to adapt in order to win the battle against services like Airbnb.
Speaking during the Gulf & Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit, Expedia VP Global Partner Group Christopher Michau said customers have different needs — from business travel to leisure, to family and more.
He said: “We really try to cater to the different needs. I don’t think there’s a client who’s just an Airbnb client or a hotel-staying client. Airbnb clients are 27 years old on average. In the future, as they travel more and more, they might convert to becoming hotel guests as well.
“It’s not a risk for the hotel industry, but how do we ensure guests understand the difference between hotels and those apartments?”
Room Mate Hotels CEO Kike Sarasola agreed: “The average age of someone who uses Airbnb is 27-28 years old. When it goes over 30, it drops dramatically. The sharing economy is here to stay. Let’s just admit it, and do something about it.”