Digital Technology Impact on the Accommodation Market

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The ongoing digital revolution is not only changing the business tourism segment – it is already profoundly intervening in all processes. Since 2016, tourism market trends have shifted away from “get-a-way” travel to traveling for ‘authentic’ experiences.  This transformation is driven by the world’s largest consumer group—millennials—and amplified by digital platforms and social media but is also echoed across other segments.

The emergence of multi-sided technology platforms, collectively known as the "sharing economy", has enabled individuals to collaboratively make use of under-utilized inventory via fee-based sharing. Consumers have so far enthusiastically adopted the services offered by firms such as Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit. The rapid growth of peer-to-peer platforms has been aided by their ability to scale supply in a near frictionless manner as well as the rich selection of goods and services they have on offer.

In the hotel accommodation space technology has changed the way hotel operators communicate with their guests. “Digital technology has changed the way we connect with guests, creating a 24/7 relationship in and out of stay,” says Stephan Croix, vice-president of marketing at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, owner of hotel chains W Hotels and Aloft.

“It is also transforming every phase of hospitality – from finding a hotel, to checking in, to unlocking your door and personalising your stay. As travel is inherently mobile, travellers expect to use their mobile devices to enrich their travel experiences,” Croix says. “The next few years will see travellers requiring an increasingly personalised service, with companies able to suggest them customised products on the basis of their profiles and past behaviour,” says Rossini. With many travellers already seeking a more customised and “local” experience, truly personalised trips are already beginning to take off.

One company that is looking to capitalise on this is AirRentalz. The platform provides short term accommodation that ranges from whole houses or apartments, to rooms and spaces. It also lists hotels, motels and b&b’s. What sets them apart from other platforms is the way they look to deliver a more personalised experience for guests via collaborating with experience service providers. Experience services providers can include cafes, restaurants, days spas, horse riding or anything that people typically like to do and see when they are holidaying or away from home.

By connecting guests who are staying local to local service providers AirRentalz is able to promote and market local businesses to guests that are staying local and deliver guest a more personalised service. As AirRentalz understand who is coming on what day and time and when they are also leaving there are great opportunities to target our marketing to the right people at the right time and have that tailored based on information previously provided.

AirRentalz see this as a win-win for all parties. The hosts can obtain great reviews, the guest received more personalised experiences and services providers receive more businesses. Everybody wins and benefits.