Blogging to Best Airbnb
- Posted by Todd A. Vines
- On June 14, 2018
The name alone is enough to make some hoteliers look over their shoulder as if the looming, sharing economy platform were about to snatch a guest from the front desk.
It’s been barely a decade since Airbnb opened its virtual doors, yet the rise in the popularity of the platform has clearly demonstrated a significant shift in the hospitality industry.
Where consistency was once the watchword – when a Brand X room in one city was reliably similar to a Brand X room elsewhere – now variety and authentically local experiences pique the interest of many travelers.
The Airbnb Local Appeal
Travelers increasingly demand an experience that’s unique and more personalized than in the past. They long to immerse themselves in local culture, try new bites and beverages, and connect with local people in an effort to experience a community the way the locals do.
One of the primary reasons Airbnb and like platforms are thriving is because the homes and apartments in their inventory come with an authenticity of living like a local.
While hotel and resort teams can’t – and shouldn’t – transform each guestroom into a unique private residence, they can showcase a variety of experiences that match, and likely best, accommodations and tours offered by the Airbnbs of the world.
Leveraging the Best of Both Worlds
The savviest thing a traditional hotel and resort team can do with the Airbnb upswing is to learn from it and leverage the inherent drawbacks of a sharing economy.
The guests in your rooms at this very moment are there precisely because the quality of Airbnb rentals is inconsistent, the hosts are sometimes less than transparent, and the service from such properties often essentially nonexistent. This doesn’t, however, mean guests don’t also wish to “live like a local” while enjoying the reliability of comfy accommodations at an established hotel.
It’s an opportunity for hotel teams to offer the best of both worlds. You have dependable rooms, a team dedicated to service, and an experience guests can rely on. The evolution comes when you can connect your guests with local people, venues and events for a holistic travel experience.
Highlighting Your Community
Connecting travelers to the local culture is half of what Airbnb brings to the table. There’s no reason a hotel can’t do the same.
Whether your property is rich in history, or one of many from a familiar brand, you can still be steeped in your community. The events, celebrations, venues, and entertainment in your immediate area should all become part of your pitch.
We’ve written at length about how important it is for hotel teams to be publishing a blog. It’s the cornerstone of a solid content marketing strategy, which is an essential element of strong SEO.
The best way to drive interest in your property’s blog is to communicate in a manner that paints word pictures for potential guests.
Offer a detailed description of what its like to visit the local farmer’s market, or highlight your community’s annual festivals and events. Guests inevitably head offsite for food and drink, so draft a post that features the best restaurants within walking distance, or outline a favorite pub crawl path. Don’t forget to include enticing images that draw readers deeper into the experience.
Hire Community Ambassadors
The other half of the equation is facilitating that local interaction. Some Airbnb hosts, for example, offer to take their guests sightseeing, or on a tour of town, but hotel teams don’t need ring ownership with such a request.
Cultivate a network of trusted community ambassadors. From the outside, they might look like simple tour guides, but hotel teams have the resources to develop a quality team of independent hosts who offer a deeper connection to a community than fast facts and pointing toward signature sites.
With seasoned ambassadors available to guide guests, the hotel is now delivering nearly every Airbnb perk along with the reliability and comfort of a traditional hotel stay, and the luxury of additional amenities and services.
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