As with all amazing things, Airbnb started from a modest idea. Two industrial designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia figured they would have an easier time paying off their rent in San Francisco if they leased out their living room to tourists who would sleep on an air mattress.
It didn’t take long for them to realise that they had a goldmine on their hands. With the help of Technical Architect, Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb was born on October 2008 and has been growing strong ever since.
Since Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry, or has had such an impact on tourism, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as the company shifts and changes with consumer behaviour.
Here are some of the ways Airbnb has revolutionized the tourism industry.
- Hotels and Commercial Lodgings are Changing
Airbnb is to hoteliers what Uber is to regular taxi drivers, a threat. Not only do they have a shared economy but Airbnb is gaining ground on the seemingly complacent hoteliers.
Airbnb boasts an ability to provide a home away from home with home cooked meals and a warm personal atmosphere that majority of hotels just don’t have and at cheaper rates too.
This has forced hotels to become more flexible. We’re seeing a rise in remodelling of hotel lobbies to look more like living rooms, we’re having chefs interact more with diners and decorators going the extra mile to put personal touches on rooms.
Of course any hotelier who says they are not threatened by Airbnb is at the very least, being untruthful.
- It’s Cheaper than Other Lodging Options
For people who feel the need to travel but can’t because their dream destinations have expensive hotels, Airbnb provides a great solution. There is a rise in cost conscious travellers who want a more authentic and less “touristy” experience.
For those who are traveling with family, it save hundreds of dollars in room expenses, not to mention so listings actually come with an offer for the host to play “guide” to some of the best places that are usually undiscovered by tourists.
These listings also save money on tour guides and the likes.
- Interacts with Customers on a Personal Level
While hotels usually offered a “personal” experience. Let’s face it, the treatment is more the same all over the world, depending on the pay bracket of the hotel you chose.
Airbnb brought the idea of a personal experience to the limelight. With personalized greetings on cards or a cute message on the family chalkboard, it has struck the perfect balance between personal and private.
Hotels struggled to create such balance in the past with little success. It really is amazing in the way it has bridged the pay gap too, it doesn’t really matter what you can afford, your experiences are as personal and intimate as you chose it to be. There’s nothing more amazing than choice.
- It’s Constantly Changing:
As a traveller who’s constantly on the move, looking for new experiences, Airbnb provides the perfect medium for them. Previously, with the hotel experience, what you got was exactly that. There were no surprises, only guided tours to normal tourist destinations often times leaving the traveller feeling like they didn’t get the “soul” of the city.
Airbnb completely turned that around, because not only do you stay in the house of a local, you get what they call the “local experience.”
All the dive bars and out of the way restaurants are at your fingertips with it. No other website or travel is yet to fulfill that promise so comprehensively.
- There’s Variety
Airbnb provided something else the tourism industry didn’t even know it was lacking. It provided variety.
Before, lodgings were pretty much what they were. Now Airbnb provides an array of places one could stay to add to the travel experiences.
Imagine waking up in a chalet, a castle, a house that was built in the 16th century, a skyscraper, the possibilities are endless and with over 20 million listings, if it can be lived in, it’s probably on Airbnb.
It blows the mind just to think about how many options travellers now have and it definitely makes travel more enticing doesn’t it?
- Exchange of Culture
One of the sticking points is that with Airbnb you don’t only pass through a location, it passes through you. That might be a cliché but with Airbnb it’s completely true.
Hotels are typically generic even when they boast local flavour, there’s still a pandering to what is universally known as the “American Standard.” which often quells the point of local flavour in the first place.
With Airbnb, you get a quick education in culture, traditional dishes, music, fabrics, art and basically a real feel of where you chose to visit. In that way, it has surpassed all the other hospitality avenues.
Isn’t it lovely to have the world at your fingertips? With Airbnb there’s no need to navigate confusing websites and complicated interfaces. With Airbnb, where there is little to no Internet connections, it makes communication with a prospective host easier than anything else has ever done.
In areas where tourism traffic isn’t as high as some other locations, it helps to find out appropriately accommodating locations that suit your needs all from the comfort of your home.
- Unique Experiences
No two Airbnb trips are the same. It is the sort of inspirational traveling experience pretty much like “Eat Pray Love”.
With Airbnb, the reality of travel takes on a somewhat novel edge. The mingling is different, the energy is different with each host and each place.
There’s no possibility of getting bored with your travel experiences. Genuinely, it’s a one of a kind trip, each time.
Traveling with Airbnb is an experience worth having. It is not without its pitfalls but all in all, it has changed the way we look at travel and tourism in the world.
Have you travelled with Airbnb in the past? Do you have experiences on how Airbnb has revolutionized the tourism industry? Then Dylan’s Tours will love to hear from you!
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