What Hotels Need to Compete in the Era of Airbnb

Getting to know your guests’ needs is a task easier said than done.

As travel experiences come in all shapes and sizes, so too do the various needs of guests at hotels. This is all the more relevant in a time when the hotel industry is competing with home-share sites like Airbnb and losing out to them when offering a less authentic travel experience.

Identifying a customer’s needs becomes crucial when marketing a product or service, whether that be in the transportation industry or the sale of coffee. But how might this apply to the hotel industry?

80% of Millennials seek unique travel experiences

According to the Airbnb and The Rise of Millennial Travel report, the vast number of millennial travelers are no longer just seeking destinations, they’re seeking travel experiences, It, also, states that over 50% of U.S. respondents wanted an active vacation that was full of exploration and discovery. When it comes to new locations it’s adventure and hidden places that rank higher than more sedate holidays. In addition to this, 3/4 of the same respondents prefer to skip familiar locales when eating in favor of more exotic and authentic restaurants.

Source: Airbnb and the Rise of the Millennial Travel Report 2016

How can hotels learn from this? And how can hotels use this information to identify their own guest’s needs? These are some of the questions raised in our latest white paper, Remaining Relevant in the Age of Airbnb.

In this report, readers can also learn best practices when training their staff to identify the best way to cater to their guests. Given they are often the first and last point of contact between your hotel and guests, it’s imperative that all the moving parts function as one and provide consistent quality service. Which is why training your staff to isolate what your customer’s needs are is essential to a hotel looking to provide the best travel experiences.

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Remaining Relevant in the Age of Airbnb

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John Smallwood, President

About John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook

A veteran in the hospitality industry, John has owned, developed, and managed hotels for many years. After earning a BBA from New Mexico State University, he started his career with AT&T, gaining invaluable insight and experience in the early years of the data revolution. His experience in technology and hospitality merged in his development of Travel Outlook, the world-class hospitality contact center. More recently, he has branched out with the creation of ExpressRez, the premier contact center for the Bed and Breakfast industry, and with the creation of Annette, the first AI-powered voice bot for the hotel industry.

About Travel Outlook

Given its progressive approach to the voice channel – in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance – Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has become the premier voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook’s valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island and many others. Travel Outlook’s team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. For more information, visit

About Annette™, The Virtual Hotel Agent™:

Annette is an AI powered virtual call center agent that represents the next generation of voice bots designed specifically for the Hospitality industry. Annette has been programmed using a breakthrough approach to voice bots, a system built from human conversations. Using social media, chat forums, and movie dialogue, Annette learns from billions of casual human conversations to understand human inflections and multi-turn queries. This revolutionary approach means Annette understands callers no matter what they say, when they say it, or how they speak. Annette can answer FAQs specific to your property, understand multiple languages, route calls, send follow up texts, and more.


In Hospitality


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