Let’s talk online travel industry: 4. Airbnb, a disruptive player


Last time while we were talking about OTA vs. Hotel Direct Booking, the real threat and disrupter is coming, Airbnb. Let me explain why they are so strong and disruptive.


When you are travelling, what is the core value? You need somewhere to take some sleep. And then, you think about the place and the brand value and other services being provided by accommodation.

Airbnb have entered the market in a different direction, as hotels and OTAs have replaced hotels or accommodation as their products and have attracted customers in the framework of accommodation industry by replacing their products online.


A platform that connects with house owners and the travelers via email, mobile messenger, and social media was successful. This became disruptive as well.


Airbnb completely bypasses OTAs and hotels. They essentially tap into the real estate market to offer holiday accommodation of all sizes and shapes, for any duration of time and according to a constantly evolving pricing structure that’s in line with the demand and availability of any hospitality market.


Airbnb appeals to the same target demographic as the hospitality sector. Furthermore, they actually offer the same basic service: accommodation. But their product is different, modern, agile, mobile, social and—quite literally—homely and comfortable. Through agile business development strategies that embrace all things digital, Airbnb turned that product into their brand.


The result as fabulous. AirBnb was valuated as $31 Billion as of October 2016. The company is not opened to public yet. But the value itself is bigger than Hilton, one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Airbnb has made more than a dozen acquisitions of late, and buying high-end rental start-up Luxury Retreats as it seeks to move into the wider tourism market.

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