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Hotels Have an Edge Against Airbnbs – Here’s How They Can Capitalize on It

Understand how your business is better than theirs and advertise those benefits in your marketing.

The rise of Airbnb disrupted the hospitality industry, challenging traditional hotels and forcing them to find ways to stay competitive. Although Airbnbs are popular, hotels have the ability to take advantage of their competitor’s weaknesses.

With a simple Google search, you can find hundreds of people complaining about the rising costs of Airbnb rentals. Some even consider turning back to the once-abandoned hotel industry for their vacations.

Those complaining about costs have a good reason. Between February 2023 and 2019, Airbnb prices rose by 36 percent. Meanwhile, Hilton’s hotel prices have only risen by about 8 percent.

Airbnb’s CFO Dave Stephenson says these rising costs are justified as Airbnb rentals have more perks than hotels; travel blogs and internet forums often disagree.

For one, Airbnbs are contributing to the housing crisis in major cities. More and more rentals are taking housing options away from locals – and they see it. This issue has caught the attention of locals, creating a sense of bitterness towards the service as a whole. Hotels don’t have the same effect.

But if Airbnbs effect on the real estate market doesn’t feel personal enough for you, there are plenty of other pros to hotels.

Take note of each knowing that these are key factors you can use to entice potential guests within your marketing.

1.  Safety

While Airbnb has gained popularity in recent years, hotels still offer several key advantages that make them a safer choice.

Hotels are subject to regulations enforced by local authorities and industry leaders. This ensures that hotels have fire alarms, sprinkler systems, emergency exits, and adequate safety measures. However, Airbnb properties may not always meet the same level of safety requirements, as they are not subject to the same regulations.

2. Guarantees

Hotels generally have well-established policies in place to ensure guest satisfaction and assure guest refunds when applicable. These practices make hotels more responsible compared to Airbnb when it comes to handling refunds and guest assurances.

While hotels and Airbnbs often advertise similar cancellation and refund policies, less regulation means Airbnb guests are more likely to have the rug pulled out from under them. Hotels also offer various options like partially refundable rates, allowing guests to choose according to their preferences and needs.

Even better, hotels often have backup plans in case of overbooking or other unexpected issues. In case a hotel can’t honor a reservation, they often take responsibility for finding other accommodations for their guests. This makes sure that guests are not left without a place to stay. Airbnb hosts are unlikely to offer the same assurances.

3. Consistency and amenities

At a hotel, guests know what to expect. Hotels are held to industry standards and regulations, this guarantees a consistent level of service, amenities, and quality across their many locations.

Guests can expect standardized room features, professional housekeeping, and a predictable experience, regardless of the specific hotel they choose. But Airbnb properties can vary significantly in terms of amenities, cleanliness, and overall quality since they’re individually owned and managed.

Hotels are also more likely to have additional amenities like restaurants, bars, fitness centers, pools, spas, and business facilities. These amenities improve the overall guest experience. While some Airbnbs may be able to tout a couple of similar features, they’re unlikely to provide as many as a hotel can.

Market off of their weaknesses

Hotels have an edge over Airbnbs for many reasons, but let’s focus on the big ones: more affordable reservations, safety, guest guarantees, and better amenities. Here are some marketing ideas that give your business the freedom to brag about its competitive practices:

  • Display awards in the lobby.
  • Share the process and qualifications that go behind the awards process on social media and website pages.
  • Use newsletters and social media to entice potential guests with your refund policies.
  • Design creative infographics that detail your cleaning practices.
  • Utilize customer testimonials within your marketing material.
  • Take advantage of infographics to compare your booking prices to the average local Airbnb price.

Provide and advertise loyalty program discounts.