Regardless of how you feel about third-party travel agents, it is important to see why online platforms are changing and how you can stay on top.
You finally did it. You listed your Airbnb property or room online and you are excited. You begin going about the details, adding sheets and towels and little amenities such as soaps and flowers in the room. Then you have the idea of adding a complimentary bottle of wine to the room. You think perhaps that will win the guests over and they will write a glowing review. Let me stop you there.
Competing with the Online Travel Agents is a hard job. Online Travel Agents have many resources to get in front of your customer and sell your rooms faster than you can. But, one thing OTA’s do not have is the spirit of your brand that only your voice can bring to a Facebook post.
Just as hotels have learned to innovate because of the sharing economy, the sharing economy should learn the age old tradition of hospitality that hotels have mastered.
Yes, it seems the cards are stacked against the tourism industry this year, but the tourism businesses are creative and I am confident they will be successful. Here are some of the ways I hear Maine tourism businesses will ride the employment wave.
In the hospitality business, overbooking is par for the course. As a business owner, I have a procedure in place and am prepared to have a smile and a drink ticket for my overbooked guest.
One emerging lifestyle I see a lot at the Inn is the vegan lifestyle. To be vegan is to embrace a ‘kind’ existence of non-violence. Food choice is only one component of this lifestyle. True vegans will look for almost every item in their environment to be ‘kind’. As a host that might seem overwhelming, but with a little knowledge and hints, accommodating this lifestyle is easy.
I am a small business owner in Maine and I would like to see opportunity created from disruption. We are a creative state with very smart people. Don’t let the Airbnb controversy lead to angry residents and tourism businesses losing money.
The purpose of listing my 2016 lessons learned, is to share with and motive Innkeepers in 2017.