Hotel companies should look at how Airbnb is creating a new way for travelers to plan their trips collaboratively and see if they can adopt the same practice.
Airbnb is going to offer a new service to travelers that hoteliers should adopt for their own.
Airbnb has proven to be a popular option for groups of friends or family members looking to travel together. They opt to stay at a house because they’re looking for more space, the ability to cook together, to immerse themselves in the community and/or any number of other reasons. Now Airbnb is making it easier for these groups to do so.
Soon Airbnb will let the members of these groups collaborate in planning their trips, reports TechCrunch, citing a recent presentation by Laura Xu, an Android engineer on Airbnb’s Trip platform, at the company’s headquarters.
“Trip planning is not necessarily complete unless you can share your trip with someone,” Xu said, according to the article. “So now we’re building features that let you add co-travelers—so you can add and share ideas, so you can add comments, so you can collaborate.”
The article states screenshots show travelers using Airbnb to send invites to others going on the trip.
“This allows everyone to save ideas to a master list, including homes that match their criteria, experiences, food and drink, sights and more,” TechCrunch reports. “Each item will indicate who added it to the trip. There’s also a way for others to comment on the items, which allows for group conversations about the place or activity.”
Based on the description, this sounds like a centralized planning platform that gives everyone a chance to share their preferences and promotes transparency among the users who make changes or additions to the plan. It seems like it would work around so many different hurdles travelers face when trying to plan a trip together.
If I were traveling with a group of friends, that would be an incredibly convenient way for us to work together to organize the trip.
Which brings me back to my point: Hotel companies need to offer something like this. The planning process for any sort of trip becomes complicated as soon as the number of people going increases beyond one person. Offering a tool like this would help ease the stress guests experience when they’re trying to coordinate among everyone going, especially if they don’t all live near each other.
It’s not that far off from what hoteliers already try to do for guests. They offer different deals and packages that include local programs and attractions. Guests frequently call on hotel staff to provide recommendations for things to do and see in the area. Why not take a step further and help guests collaborate to figure out what kind of hotel they want to stay in while also letting them suggest different attractions and activities all in one place?
If nothing else, this seems like something brands could add to their loyalty program apps. It could either help build or reinforce loyalty by giving them an extra reason to stay at one of their hotels.
The guest experience is something every hotelier talks about, and having a tool like this would go a long way in improving the guest experience long before they step foot into a hotel.
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