Airbnb has been taking its toll on the hotel and hospitality industries over the past few years.
From tiny NYC studio apartments to luxurious Los Angeles mansions, Airbnb has brought a level of personalization to the hotel industry that may not necessarily be able to be matched by its formalized counterparts.
One organization that’s making its thoughts known on the topic of Airbnb invading its space is high-end luxury hotel Four Seasons. Upon Airbnb’s acquisition of Montreal-based Luxury Retreats, it moved that much closer to the luxury market and put it in direct competition with the Four Seasons rental service offering.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Chief Executive Officer Allen Smith commented on Airbnb’s impact on the hotel industry. He said, “I would be naive to say that we aren’t being mindful of the Airbnb effect. It’s just another example of the speed in which the market is changing and the manner in which we need to be prepared to respond to it.”
While Airbnb has certainly made a dent in the hotel and hospitality industry, there are still aspects that may not be so easy to replicate. When it comes to consistently providing a cohesive experience, there is less control for the rental inventory market.
Smith added, “Will they match us head to head in terms of service quality? Probably not. That’s pretty hard for people to do, but I wouldn’t underestimate their ability to get pretty close. I think that they will be a meaningful force that we have to reckon with.”
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Luxury Hotel Four Seasons Keeps One Eye Open On Airbnb Competition