Nov. 10, 2016
As global tourism skyrockets, there’s one particular $30-billion-vacation-home-rental company that's sweeping the hospitality industry. It has come a long way since inception, in 2008, when its founders rented out a single air mattress on their apartment floor—now the service has more than two million listings worldwide.
Any guesses? 😉
With services reaching over 191 countries and 57,000 cities around the world, Airbnb is increasing in popularity and showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s well on its way to dominating the hospitality industry.
Founded and based in San Francisco, Calif., Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations around the world. These unique rental spaces that range from city apartments to ancient castles and can be easily booked online and through any mobile device. Whether you’re looking to escape the city or find yourself right in the middle of a metropolitan adventure, Airbnb has you covered—you’ll find the perfect home to suit your lifestyle, and this is something the hotel industry simply can’t match. Hotels can’t give you the real, authentic experience that accompanies renting out a home, and so Airbnb is capturing the hearts (and the market share) of any travellers that are tired of the same old hotel room. Guests get a glimpse of living like a local, interacting with hosts and enjoying an overall unique vacation experience.
As far as relying on guests goes, Airbnb has more than 60 million of them to make it a successful platform and prove that there’s definitely room and demand for a new type of hospitality. The other side of this marketplace’s equation is hosts, and Airbnb has done an incredible job getting hosts, over 640,000 of them, from all over the world ready and willing to offer up their space.
For hosts, the service is simple to set up, easy to use, and incredibly reliable. Whether hosts are looking to make some money renting out a second bedroom, cover rent while they’re away on vacation, or even join the hospitality industry and offer that unique experience to guests full-time, Airbnb makes it happen without any upstart costs, hassles or additional logistics. Compared to other platforms, Airbnb is designed to help create connections and get familiar with your guests, not just secure bookings. Being a marketplace of sort, Airbnb beautifully handles the entire interaction, especially when it comes to facilitating both the communication and the transaction itself, something sites like Booking.com and Expedia can’t seem to figure out.
The service entails hosts welcoming complete strangers into their homes with the expectation that said strangers will treat the property with the utmost respect. Sure, this may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but Airbnb has managed to address the trust issue between hosts and guests. With verified IDs, reviews, and social verifications, hosts can ensure their guests are exactly who they say they are.
As far as the near future goes, Airbnb is expanding beyond the home, with experiences and places. The company plans to create a streamlined travel approach with local activities and recommendations, sort of tapping into the TripAdvisor-meet-travel-agency model.
So, if you’re looking to rent out your home/shack/condo/shed/beach house, or, alternatively, looking to stay in one, and would like the best listing variety, trip authenticity, booking simplicity, payment transparency and overall platform reliability—Airbnb is probably your best bet!