AirBNB Is Changing The Way We Travel
Incredible value for money
AirBnB is changing the way we travel, at least where lodgings are conscerned. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb already, the chances are you’re one of the few people who doesn’t have at least one family member, friend or acquaintance who has used this service – either as a host or as a guest.AirBnB is changing the way we travel Click To Tweet
With this website, you can find thousands of homes, apartments and rooms available to rent, whether it’s deluxe city apartments or quaint country retreats. Airbnb gives millions of people the chance to find good quality, affordable accommodation in destinations that would otherwise be too expensive if the only choice they had was hotels.
Much more cost-effective than hotels
In fact, even for some of the world’s most expensive locations, such as London and New York, it is not difficult to find decent accommodation with all the trimmings – from kitchenettes and private bathrooms to free Wi-Fi and free toiletries – for well under £100 per night. Compare this to the soaring cost of hotels, which in 2014 averaged £127 per night in London and the equivalent of £171 per night in New York.
Does Airbnb sound too good to be true?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that there must be some kind of catch or special fine print that no one seems to be aware of. However, with Airbnb, there isn’t. Of course, many hosts will charge their guests extra for cleaning, and deposits may be required just like in other rental agreements.
An enviable brand identity
One of the main catalysts for Airbnb’s growth, and the way that AirBnB is changing the way we travel, is it’s brand identity: it has an association with value for money, because it is generally much easier to find rock-bottom prices here – i.e. rooms for less than £10 per night – than sites catered to hotels. Although websites like Gumtree and Craigslist do advertise short-term rentals, these brands are not specifically associated with travelling and holidaying.
A more personal service
The service Airbnb provides is also much more personal than simply booking through a hotel website. Prospective guests can learn about their hosts, and even get to know them during their stay. Other agency websites that don’t have this unique personal touch look much more generic and corporate in comparison.
But hotels are trying to tap into Airbnb’s success, too
But there is another way that AirBnB is changing the way we travel. In December 2015, business media firm Fast Company revealed that some boutique hotel managers were already using the Airbnb platform to advertise rooms, pointing out that the company only charges a 3% fee, which is significantly less than many other booking agents. Expedia, like other companies, already recognises Airbnb as a serious threat, although the CFO Mark Okerstrom also hinted that his company could learn from its platform, saying this could be a ‘potentially attractive opportunity’.
Power to the customers
Instead of choosing a hotel based on its official star rating, with Airbnb there is much more emphasis on customer feedback. Expectedly, people have a strong preference for venues that have consistently good reviews, and the advantage of this is that it pushes hosts to provide a better service, otherwise they risk receiving negative reviews. Unlike some hotels, which can rely on their star ratings, venues on Airbnb can only be judged by the customer.
Laura Reeve is the Marketing Executive for Avanti Travel Insurance, who specialises in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.
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