According to the usual script, the hotel industry is in a state of flux as peer-to-peer rental sites such as Airbnb continue their disruptive ways.
Well yes and no. It depends really on where you are. Large cities such as London are certainly in the cross hairs of this change, no question.
However, in this article Natasha Stokes points out that with any disruption comes opportunity.
Branding worked brilliantly in the pre-digital age of limited information. You knew what product / service you could expect in a branded hotel no matter where it was located in the World.
Now people are able to discover alternative accommodations with a few clicks of the mouse, all peer reviewed.
In this exciting new age of information comes extra choice and diversity. That very "sameness" of hotels that worked in the past can be seen as a drawback for certain consumers - millennials spring to mind.
Hotels have successfully met this "new" demand, as any successful business does, by changing their service offering.
Boutique hotels are part of the answer but so too are dedicated serviced apartments. Up 80% since 2008 which is extraordinary growth driven in main by the business traveller. And the same trend is being seen in China as well.
Natasha sees yet another new trend emerging as serviced apartments work alongside peer-to-peer rentals and already this is becoming a reality.
The question is this. Legislators are desperately trying to regulate the likes of Airbnb but can they really move fast enough?
“The next part of the evolution is a tiering for serviced apartments, where operators produce lower-cost residences alongside existing luxury and mid-tier properties.”