The hotel industry is not happy with Airbnb, and that's an understatement. People renting out rooms and even complete houses on Airbnb, head to head competition for professional hotels. Did I just write 'professional' hotels?? Well... that's exactly where the problem is.
Services such as Airbnb and Uber are a succes for a very simple reason: they bring back to the consumer what hotels and taxi's did in the past. A complex statement? Not at all. I have experienced cities all around the world where taxi drivers feel they can be rude to people, overcharge and make unnecessary detours. They just got away with it. And a lot of industries are like that. But then there is a player who changes the game, who changes the landscape.
All of a sudden, there is a friendly host that goes out of his way to make sure your stay is a good one. An Airbnb host that drives to the pharmacy when you are feeling ill. Not the indifferent hotel receptionist that doesn't even make the effort (or isn't allowed to) to show you your room. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it comes down to the basics of hospitality: making it personal.
I plead for bringing back a bit of romance to the hotel industry. What is with opening your hotelroom with an Apple watch? How indifferent can you be?
Don't get me wrong, this is not a manifest against hotels, far from it. There are amazing hotels out there. Buildings with an amazing infrastructure in the most beautiful parts of the world. If only we can now put in a bit of that making-it-personal and just a bit of romance...