A positive and effective way to combat Airbnb

As a hotelier, it’s hard to ignore the meteoric rise of the sharing-economy.

Industry leaders like Airbnb offer a tempting proposition: “comforts of home”, and a more intimate, local experience. Travellers are being lured away from hotels and resorts by this seemingly attractive combination of benefits.

The sharing-economy is self-service, and plenty of people (especially millennials) obviously enjoy this kind of vacation. While it’s nice to become immersed in a local environment, it can be a lot of work compared to the ease and safety of staying in a well-run hotel, and eat up valuable time for relaxation. And isn’t that the reason for a vacation?

In addition to providing great food and enticing activities, by offering superb service hotels can remind guests how convenient it is to stay in a hotel rather than to adjust to the uneven and unpredictable lodging provided by Airbnb. Service is the reason a guest will stay in a hotel rather than in someone’s spare room, and this should be promoted during the first contact a guest has with a hotel. This is where a good voice reservations team really comes into its own.

In the hands of a good reservations specialist, guests feel instantly welcome. They can be assured that all their cares and concerns will be taken care of, helping them to look forward to a calming, comfortable stay. Importantly, a customer’s specific needs can be learned to enable the hotel to personalize their entire experience.

A reservations specialist can tactfully draw out the benefits a hotel has over sharing-economy accommodations: the hotel’s well-trained staff, and added perks such as in-room dining and discounts on organised tours and concierge services. The agent can discover how to help plan a more rewarding getaway for the client.

During that first call, guests can be reminded of the main benefit that hotels will always be able to leverage over sharing-economy accommodations: great customer service. More than ever, it’s essential that this message be broadcast cleared and consistently.

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