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The Rise of Airbnb Forces Hotels to Fight Back

Airbnb, launched in August 2008, is a social website where people with living spaces are connected with those in need of one. Airbnb derives revenue from both the guests and their hosts for its services. They charge guests a 9−12% service fee every time a reservation is booked — this is around 7 -10% less than At present, the hotel industry is facing a big challenge — there is a growing gap in communication between guests and hotels. As a result of this, hotels are losing their personal touch with their guests and their businesses to Airbnb.


To solve this issue, the hotels try to stay competitive and build a long-lasting relationship with their guests. By getting to know what the guests need prior to their arrival, hotels will be able to personalize the experience of their guests. There is a conviction that the guest journey starts the moment a guest makes a booking. Therefore, by engaging with the guests and getting to know their preferences beforehand, hotels can set up a remarkable experience for their guests.

Why travelers prefer to stay at a hotel over Airbnb?

The hotel has space for leisure, business, and an entire atmosphere that you can’t get at home. There is also the presence of a design that enhances a quality stay. Rental apartments, on the other hand, can’t provide guests with the restaurant, spa, wellness facility, and in-room services that hotels provide. These are the reason we leaving home for a hotel. At the end of the day, hotel facilities might still be a hotel’s most valuable proposition. However, most hotels do not seem to emphasize these additional services enough.  

Hotels fighting back and trying to improve engagement with guests

Since Airbnb launched in 2008, more than eight million guests and over three million nights of bookings have been made on their website. It is obvious that hotels are losing the market share to Airbnb. Therefore, this is a crucial time for hotels to close the communication gap and offer a digital service and start to personalize the entire guest experience. The other impact comes when the hotel chooses not to engage with their guest at all, thereby losing a big opportunity to sing up the new guest for their loyalty program.

Hotels use upselling emails to increase guest satisfaction

The number one goal of any hotel is to get more bookings, but today, the game has changed. With Airbnb now competing in the market, hotels should rise up to the question of how to make the most of each booking and make guests buy more services at their hotels. With a customized guest upselling email, guests are only a click away from submitting a special request, upgrading their room, ordering a taxi transfer, or booking a table at the most exclusive restaurant around. If your hotel currently does not send any of these upselling emails or use a chat option, then you should consider adding some of these tools.

What is upsell?

Upselling is a strategy to sell a more expensive version of a hotel room that the guest already booked or other additional services that might be useful to the guest. This can happen if the guest makes a booking on a standard room, but the hotel uses proactive marketing and sends a new upgrade offer seven days prior to guest arrival — that’s an upsell. The benefit of proactive marketing is to not only increase the direct revenue stream but to also allow the guest to discover important information all in one place, which has proven to help enhance guests’ stay and their satisfaction levels.

Hotels are now paying more attention to personal comments from guests

Airbnb has built an online reputation system that enables and encourages each guest and host to leave a review after each stay. Guests can rate their stay according to the cleanliness, location, and communication of the space. A guest may even build up a new friendship with their host and it is possible that the guest would have left a personal comment directly to the host. Hotels, on the other hand, has no one asking for feedback during check-outs because the receptionist is probably too busy. The next question becomes how hotels can still express their sincere apology for the uncomfortable stay and collect more feedback.

Hotels are now collecting guest feedback to improve guest relationship

Using star ratings to rate services at a hotel is one of the options. Many hotels are now sending highly customized post-stay emails to collect feedback from their guests. However, this method does not really ease the real problem. To build a stronger relationship with the guests, hotels are now encouraging their guests to share a memory of their stay and even post a photo on social media — which is the best option to share guest feedback to the internet! For sure this is a good way for hotels to start a conversation and share their brand visibility to the world. Story-telling is a new marketing tactic, however, hotels have to be prepared as there may be negative feedback from a former guest.

In conclusion

Hotels are the best choice for travelers who wish to enjoy a secure stay, smooth check-in and check out, safe luggage storage, and splendent amenities. It will take a while for Airbnb to match up to that level. However, hotels will also need to focus on closing the current gap in communication with their guests. Applying the personalization communication method that makes each guest feel unique and welcome is the key.

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About GuestJoy

GuestJoy enables hoteliers to engage with their guest. With GuestJoy communication tool, hoteliers are now getting closer to their guests, thereby resulting in increased guest satisfaction and hotel brand loyalty. Our headquarters is in Tallinn with regional offices in London, Gdańsk, and Prague. GuestJoy counts more than 100 of the world’s leading hotels as customers.