On Monday, we attended an influential technology event for the accommodation industry, organised by industry tech guru, Ted Horner.
accomnews will publish several articles delving into many of the deeper issues raised during the summit, but here were some of the morning’s highlights:
- The sharing economy was a hot-topic, with Airbnb and Uber receiving the most airtime as both of these apps have redefined how customers book. Keynote speaker Rachel Botsman warned the accommodation industry against responding to Airbnb in the same way that taxis opposed Uber. Demanding regulation will only fuel the fire, she noted.
- Ms Botsman explained that the sharing, or “collaborative” as she preferred to say, economy is growing rapidly and transforming production.
- On Airbnb – they wanted to build an iconic company that was branded like Disney and Apple. Ms Botsman revealed: What is their secret? “They’re not creating marketplace they’re building communities.”
- Dave Berkus, Angel investor, said that 3D printing and robotic technology are major areas that would be worth investing in for the accommodation industry.
- Hotel chains could replace their marketing departments with travel bloggers! This was one new idea that came from the talks.
- Another was that with more than 6.5 billion smartphones in the world today and most people travelling with up to three devices, the emphasis must be on meeting the guests need for instant connectivity.
- Bryon Merzeo from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu had a more positive outlook, he claimed that Sydney occupancy will soar to 90% by 2017.
- A key lesson to learn from Airbnb is that if you want to boost guest satisfaction, accom providers need to reduce the difference between guest expectation and reality. (More on this in an upcoming article!)
- accomnews asked a panel of CEOs what their views were on OTAs but everybody declined to answer, citing time restraints.