Can Hotels Claim Market Share as Airbnb Declines?

Is the Recent Decline of Long- and Short-Term Homestay Experiences and How Tiktok is Renewing Interest in Traditional Hotels?

Is there a massive opportunity for hotels to claim back their market share through social media platforms such as Tiktok?

The GenZ Generation goes to Tiktok to choose their vacation experiences.

Long- and Short-Term Homestay Experiences, commonly referred to using the vernacular umbrella term Airbnb (the company who thrust this model into the mainstream zeitgeist) was once a beacon of the sharing economy, has taken an alternate turn reflecting back on the 1st half of 2024. These offerings have faced a confluence of challenges that have dampened its once unstoppable growth, opening the door for a return to the traditional hospitality service experience.

Several key factors have contributed to this trend and for ease of reference, the umbrella term Airbnb will be used to discuss these factors, beginning with;

  • Regulatory Challenges – Numerous cities across the globe have enacted stricter regulations on short-term rentals. These measures aim to address housing shortages and mitigate the impact on local communities, but they have also reduced the number of available Airbnb listings and increased costs for hosts.
  • Safety and Cleanliness Concerns – The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly heightened public awareness about cleanliness and safety standards. While hotels rapidly adopted stringent cleaning protocols, many potential Airbnb guests have been wary of the inconsistent cleaning practices of individual hosts.
  • Guest Experiences – The variability in guest experiences with Airbnb has been another significant factor. Unlike hotels that offer standardized services and amenities, Airbnb stays can be unpredictable, leading to varying levels of comfort and service quality. Negative experiences can deter future bookings.
  • Economic Factors – In an era of rising inflation and economic uncertainty, travellers have become more price-sensitive. Initially, Airbnb was perceived as a cost-effective alternative to hotels, but increasing prices on the platform have made traditional hotels more competitive, especially with their added amenities and loyalty programs.

 

It is here where an emphasis on consistency, value and luxury, coupled to accessibility, visibility and ease of use and speed of reach, TikTok’s has generated a renewed interest in traditional hotels

Amid Airbnb’s challenges, traditional hotels have found an unexpected and powerful ally in TikTok. The social media platform, with its extensive user base and engaging content format, has become a significant tool for marketing and shaping consumer behaviour.

  • Visual Storytelling – Hotels are capitalizing on TikTok’s visual and short-form content format to creatively showcase their properties. Through room tours and behind-the-scenes looks at hotel operations, these videos offer potential guests a transparent and enticing preview of what to expect. Highlighting ambiance, amenities, and unique features in short videos has proven highly effective.
  • Influencer Partnerships – Many hotels are collaborating with popular TikTok influencers to reach wider audiences. Influencers with substantial followings create authentic and engaging content that resonates with their audience. These partnerships often include reviews, stays, and experiences that highlight the hotel’s unique selling points, fostering trust and desire among viewers.
  • User-Generated Content – Encouraging guests to share their experiences on TikTok has become a potent marketing strategy. Hotels can create branded hashtags and challenges, prompting guests to post about their stays. This user-generated content serves as genuine testimonials and extends the hotel’s reach organically as users share their experiences with their followers.
  • Trends and Challenges – TikTok is renowned for its viral trends and challenges. Hotels are tapping into this by creating their own challenges or participating in existing ones, which can lead to widespread visibility and engagement.
    While it is important to remain aware that no one trend is the only trend, this a more dominant trend emerging in the first half of 2024 with current geopolitical climates playing their part in consumer behaviour as these matters tend to always do.

 

So, while “Airbnb’s” continue to navigate its current hurdles, traditional hotels are experiencing a resurgence, thanks in large part to innovative marketing strategies on platforms like TikTok, where the fusion of traditional hospitality with modern social media trends offers a fresh and exciting chapter for the travel industry.

Article by: Caval Goodyear

Hospitality Jobs Africa

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