“What Can We Do For You?”

A new landscape of travel is emerging, where the experience itself is the actual goal. What the new generation of travellers does, is to first browse through the different choices and start visualise their journey. Today, tourists already start their journey in the comfort of their own at home.

There will always be obstacles – look for the solutions

That AirBnB has rocked the hotel industry the last couple of years is a well-known fact. In much the same way as when the booking portals, like booking.com and Expedia, emerged and began to take over the large volumes of automated reservations.

To believe that the technical platform or pricing is the most important part of AirBnB is not the whole truth – it’s actually about the experience. The alternative to booking portals will never be the hotel website, that can only display one option at a time. The alternative is more likely to be a search engine like Google, where one can find the several different hotel websites.

The hidden gems

AirBnB should not be seen as a budget accommodation alternative but instead an opportunity to experience a country as the locals do. So what can hotels do to fight back?

The advantage is to be found in the hotel employees and the ability to offer the added value that the visitor may have difficulty in finding on their own.

So how do you know what the travellers want? Simply by asking.

Instead of ready-made packages suitable for “everyone”, consider offering real help from the locals and personalised experience. Why not commence this service already before arrival, on your website – “Contact us and let us help you to the perfect stay”.

To check-in and check-out is something that can and should be done on the fly. Instead, why not reinstate the function “Concierge”, an expert that helps out to find hideaways and hidden gems that the traveller might not find on his/her own. Without the local knowledge of the neighborhood, the hotel might have to struggle against the apartment alternative.

It is time to dust off the old service phrase – “What can we do for you?”

Kim Spolén

Key Account Manager and former Head Concierge Sergel Plaza, Stockholm