The challenge of the hotel industry to survive Airbnb


Despite the fact that the security alerts that the United States usually issues do affect the tourist industry in Mexico, our country is the sixth most visited by tourists, according to statements made by President Enrique Peña Nieto at the opening of the 43rd Tourism Tianguis.
Last month, the Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid regretted that there is an impact on security alerts issued by our neighbor to the north, from March 2017 to March this year, tourists who arrived by air to Cancun They spent 10% less, also warned as a bad sign that hotels could be lowering their rates to maintain their clientele.
In any case, Mexico continues to be a tourism power, last year, for example, we recorded a record 39.3 million tourists, which brought in revenues of 21.3 billion dollars.
However, this does not mean that hotels are benefiting from these multimillion-dollar figures at the levels of other years, because the collaborative economy also came to give a good shake to the hospitality industry and the impact is real and measurable.
According to the Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels, the collaborative economy represents between 30 and 40% of the hotel chain in the country. And, in Mexico, Airbnb offers more than 62,000 properties in rent in several cities, according to figures from the platform itself, it is the biggest challenge for the hospitality industry in Mexico and the world.
But what is the hotel industry doing in Mexico to counteract the impact of this platform that, paradoxically, does not own a single property for rent?
In the same way that the guild of taxi drivers has been in disagreement with the arrival of UBER, the hotel industry has acted like the rest of the industries that are threatened by new players based on the collaborative economy: complaining that they represent unfair competition, demand that taxes similar to those they pay apply and discredit with news that presumes that the rooms that are hired via app are unsafe.
Beyond that, an intention of the paradigms that have always accompanied hotels in Mexico has not been reported. As suggested by the Secretary of Tourism, the hotels may be lowering prices to avoid losing customers, but are they really implementing substantial changes in their designs, promotions, strategies and styles to attract the millennial public that prefers to book rooms via mobile applications?
The actions of hoteliers from other countries can serve as a model for traditional housing providers in Mexico. In the United States, for example, some hotel chains do everything to give a more homelike experience to their guests and have expanded their portfolios to attract a new public that does not spend too much time in the rooms they rent, but prefers to take advantage and rest in the common spaces.
Also, some hotels allow their employees to interact with the clientele in a casual way, in the same way that owners of properties that rent on Airbnb do, among many other examples.
In general, it is evident that the Mexican hotel industry requires a chip change that allows them to stop losing customers (or keep only the traditionalist clients of greater age).
In the same way that other industries, which have seen the collaborative economy as an opportunity instead of a threat, Mexican hoteliers must renew themselves and continue to build the tourism potential that Mexico represents.


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