Gino Engels, chief commercial officer, OTA Insight.
"Airbnb-as-OTA introduces the challenge of consistent content."
Quote from Gino Engels, chief commercial officer at OTA Insight, in an article on PhocusWire this week on Airbnb's impact on hotel rate parity when it's considered an online travel agency.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
There are lots of things to say about the entry of Airbnb into the ecosystem with its recent (well, a year go) fondness for including hotels on the platform.
CEO Brian Chesky has talked a good game - probably to the relief of hoteliers - about challenging the likes of Booking.com and Expedia.
And, by adding hotels to Airbnb, perhaps the pressure has eased on the original Airbnb vs. Hotels debate that raged during company's first phase.
Gino Engels is obviously right when he points to how "Airbnb-as-OTA" will ignite dramatic changes to how commission levels are managed and revenue management departments will have to also focus on other types of fees for hotels.
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But, perhaps not deliberately, some might argue that this is missing the bigger picture.
Those tuning in to our webinar earlier this week with Amadeus, titled The Hotel Guest Of The Future, will know that the process by which hotels of all kinds should brace themselves for far more fundamental changes.
These changes will also have an impact on how properties are sold through online travel agencies.
At the heart of the overhaul are the demands of the next generation of travelers, although these requirements are almost certain to be reflected by other age groups and consumer types.
Flexibility around rates will become the norm - dynamic pricing, as it's known - as personalized offers ensure the guest is hit with the right price and the right time, depending on their purchase history and previous stay-related behaviors.
Such demands for unbundling every aspect of the hotel stay, according to Amadeus, will likely see the end of the room type as we know it today.
Being able to slice and dice each element, just to serve the need of the traveler, could be a bit of a headache for revenue managers - and this before issues such as rate parity come into play.
Understanding and meeting this development is perhaps going to become the single most important investment that hotels and chains make in the years ahead, after asset improvements.
Whether accommodation owners are ready for this change is not entirely known as yet.
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