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How Does Airbnb Compete with Hotels? – By Olivia Clifton

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How Does Airbnb Compete with Hotels? – By Olivia Clifton

After choosing where they’ll vacation, guests typically consider the next difficult decision about their trip: Airbnb or hotel? This company, along with others like VRBO, keeps hoteliers on their toes as they continue to compete for occupancy in both top destinations and less-traveled locations. So, how does airbnb compete with hotels?

After choosing where they’ll vacation, guests typically consider the next difficult decision about their trip: Airbnb or hotel? This company, along with others likeÊVRBO, keeps hoteliers on their toes as they continue to compete for occupancy in both top destinationsÊandÊless-traveled locations.ÊSo,Êhow does airbnb compete with hotels?

Hotel vs Airbnb

Airbnb offers private accommodations that often feature amenities you might not find in a hotel but are standard in a home, like full kitchens and private outdoor spaces. In addition, their app allows guests to check in, communicate with their host, and check out without interacting face-to-face. Alternatively, hotels offer services like daily housekeeping or room service. Overall, pitting a hotel vs airbnb will ultimately come down to budget, needs and personal preferences.

How can your hotel compete with Airbnb in 2024?

Cost of Stay

An easy way that your hotel can compete with Airbnb and VRBO is by offering package deals and discounts.

  1. Offer immediate gratification through savings and / or credit.
  2. Tailor your specials around area events like shows, festivals, and conferences.
  3. Encourage guests to stay longer by offering a discount for more nights spent.
  4. Increase mid-week occupancy by offering a deep discount or convincing deal.

Common specials include earning an extra night after staying X amount of nights, or advance booking rates. Most hotels also offer book direct deals to prevent spending unnecessary fees on commissions.

Traditionally, an Airbnb will cost more than a hotel based on the fact that there is more square footage to clean, and can accommodate more guests. If you’re considering splitting the cost, an Airbnb could be a cheaper option.

On-Site Amenities

Another way that hotels can compete with Airbnb is by enhancing and properly advertising on-site amenities. Play up conveniences offered by your hotel, from housekeeping and hot breakfast to even more enticing offerings like laundry service. Pools and hot tubs, on-site dining, spas, and room service are all amenities that aren’t offered at most Airbnbs. Don’t leave any details out Ð things like brand-specific baked goods on arrival, bag delivery to guest rooms, and a smiling face at the front desk can make the difference between a guest choosing your hotel over an Airbnb in the future.Ê

In addition, Airbnb charges a cleaning fee and guests are typically expected to do some cleaning on their own prior to checking out. However, guests at a hotel can usually count on returning from their day’s excursions to a freshly-made bed, new towels, and empty trash cans Ð and what’s better than tucking into crisp, clean sheets after a long day? Check out the Top 10 Hotel Room Technology Trends that may give you a leg up on the competition.


Generally, booking an Airbnb is more flexible than a hotel room for a variety of reasons.

  1. Cancellation Policies: It’s fairly common for an Airbnb to have a cancellation window leading up to your stay where you can receive a full or partial refund if you change your mind, while hotels often offer discounts for booking a non-refundable rate. If you’re pinching pennies, that non-refundable rate isn’t going to to provide you with much flexibility if plans change.
  2. Sleeping Arrangements: Guests may find that the sleeping arrangements in an Airbnb may be more accommodating, especially when traveling with the entire family or a group. However, setting up pull-out couches and air mattresses, if needed, is the responsibility of the guest.
  3. Parking: In some cities, parking may be an issue for hotels and Airbnbs. Check the fine print to see if parking is available and whether or not there is a fee associated to park during your stay.


Partnering with local businesses is a powerful way your hotel can compete with Airbnb in 2024. In addition to strengthening your professional network and relationships, these partnerships can benefit your guests. Use these partnerships to direct guests to discounted restaurants, nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and more in your area.

Alternatively, Airbnb is able to compete with hotels by offering guests the option to live like a local during their trip. Anything a hotelier can do to make guests feel special, both on-site and out on the town, will help to build a hotel’s reputation and encourage repeat business. Whether you choose to advertise these partnerships on paper with guest room handouts, online, or another way, partnerships can help elevate your property over an Airbnb.ÊÊ

Bonus: Personality + Reputation

Put your hotel’s best face forward on social media. Do guests rave about the sunrise views from the balcony? Do they rush down to the delicious free omelet bar every morning? Does your pool area look like a dreamy oasis at sunset? Show it off! Paint potential guests a clear, authentic picture of what it’s like to be on your property using a mix of stylized posts and day-to-day content, rather than letting them rely on the “Gallery” page of your hotel’s website to see what they’re paying for.Ê

Not sure what your hotel should post online? Check out this list of 54 social media ideas for hotels and create a content calendar that works for you.

Remember to pay close attention to your reputation on and offline. Statistics show that while less that 50% of guests might leave a review, more than 90% read them before booking a stay.

Hotel or Airbnb

Are Airbnbs cheaper than hotels?

It depends! Many hotel room nights are less expensive when compared to an Airbnb. However, if you’re splitting the cost among family or friends, an Airbnb may be cheaper. Many hotels also offer robust loyalty programs that can help lower the cost of current or future room nights.

Why do people prefer Airbnb over hotels?

While many guests prefer the service a hotel offers, Airbnbs boast perks that are sometimes hard to pass up, like additional rooms, non-shared amenities, full kitchens and more. There is often more attention to detail in the setup and cleaning of an Airbnb, due to the property belonging to a person rather than a brand.

What are the disadvantages of Airbnb over hotels?

Some disadvantages to an Airbnb may include additional fees, unresponsive hosts, and age restrictions.

Is your hotel ready to take on Airbnb? It’s not easy Ð that’s why finding the right digital marketing company is so important. Look to the experts at TravelBoom for digital marketing services for hotels of all sizes, with strategy based on industry data and research, backed by 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry.

About TravelBoom Marketing

TravelBoom specializes in developing and executing customized data-driven marketing solutions that drive direct bookings and growth for its clients. With over 25 years of experience in digital marketing for travel and hotels, TravelBoom leverages advanced data science and analytics to uncover insights and develop strategies that greatly enhance results for our clients and reduce reliance on third-party channels. TravelBoom is also host of the world’s #1 ranked Hotel Marketing Podcast and its quarterly Traveler Sentiment Study both of which can be found at

Posted by on March 13, 2024.

Categories: Sales and Marketing

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