When you think of Airbnb, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Is it the luxurious condominium in Dubai? A trendy, minimalist flat in East London? Or perhaps a gorgeous beach house along the Gulf Coast?
Even if it’s not one of those things, you probably didn’t think of anything business related, right? That’s why the tech world is buzzing over Airbnb’s recent purchase of Gaest. Gaest is a website that allows its users to book spaces for business events and meetings.
The Rise of Working Remotely — A Potential Boost for Hotel Meeting Spaces
Really, if you think about it, it’s a genius program. Millennials have traded in the “Mom and Pop” idea for a more modern theme. Startups are being run out of homes now and most are run off the Internet via websites, clouds and mobile apps.
Not to mention, more and more companies are hiring employees who might not even work in the same state, let alone country. Remote employees who work from wherever they reside are on the rise, and it doesn’t look like a trend that’s going to go away anytime soon.
So with the DIY lifestyle in full effect, it would make sense for AirBnb to invest in a company that allows people to rent space for meetings and company get togethers. I mean, let’s face it, a new startup company that’s run out of someone’s home probably doesn’t want to bring their investors in for meetings within their kitchens. But if you do — be sure to do the dishes.
But what’s next for Airbnb? It’s true, the company is searching to get on Wall Street. Airbnb wants its own IPO, but will investors buy their stock? Is Gaest enough or will Airbnb need to stay aggressive and prove they can holster growth? Or is Gaest just a crack in the door?
Increased Last Minute Hotel Room Bookings
That’s where HotelTonight comes into play. With Airbnb’s official acquisition of HotelTonight in April 2019, they now have the ability to appeal to the mid-20’s adventurous couch surfer, and the suit and tie, 9-5 briefcase nomads too.
HotelTonight’s mobile app, which has a well-rounded easy to use app (much like Airbnb), allows users to see a list of hotels at a discounted rate. Just like Airbnb, HotelTonight is wildly popular among Millennials and younger generation workers.
But one of the big draws to HotelTonight is the fact that users can book both in advance and the same day of their stay. Seeing as 48% of rooms are booked at the last minute, HotelTonight has proven themselves as a profitable site with a growing loyal audience.
Airbnb now hosts three of the top websites and apps in three different, yet similar, rental markets. With enough users on each platform, were Airbnb to go live on Wall Street, investors might see them as a real powerhouse and be quick to invest.
Mobile-friendly is Here to Stay
Hoteliers could experience an increase in last minute bookings for hotel rooms and meeting spaces — as well as a strong third-party player challenging the push to book direct. One thing is for sure, hoteliers will continue to see increased pressure to rev up their mobile on-the-go game to compete — developing simple to use UX designs with limited clicks required of the user, while also offering the best deals on the market. Positive guest experiences are now, more than ever, intertwined between digital experience and on-site services and amenities.
The impacts of this acquisition will hopefully serve to some places as a wake-up call to stay relevant in a constantly changing market. One that’s become more digitalized, more mobile and more user-friendly. And, if that were the case, it would be a win for us all.
Resources: Revinate, Airbnb, Skift