The world of travel and tourism has changed rapidly and dramatically during the last decade, in a variety of different aspects. One of the most notable is in terms of the accommodation that people choose to stay in and the experiences that they decide to have during their vacation. The impact that one company, Airbnb, has had in particular is undeniable. Since the company was started less than a decade ago, it has completely transformed how a significant proportion of people choose to travel.
Since its beginning in August 2008, the company has utilized social media highly effectively and has grown from a startup to a multi billion dollar company with over 150 million users worldwide. The company became fully profitable during the second half of 2016 and now shows no sign of slowing with a revenue growth of 80% between 2015 and 2016. It has also started acquiring other vacation rental companies such as Canadian based villa rental company Luxury Retreats International in February 2017.
What Airbnb offers the millions of travelers who have chosen to use its services is the chance to experience a home-away-from-home holiday experience at excellent prices and with superb flexibility. This also includes a choice of over 3 million different lodgings including: rooms, apartments, houses, villas and even unique properties to stay in across 65,000 cities in 191 countries. While Airbnb is the best known of this type of company, it is by no means the only one. Increasing numbers of this style of company have been popping up in recent years, as the appetite for this new form of vacation sees no sign of slowing down.
As the shockwaves have started to be significantly felt within the travel and tourism market, hotels and resorts have had to take real notice of what is going on, because there is a strong possibility of failure without adaptation. Increasingly people are choosing not to stay in a big hotel or resort, but instead accommodation that offers a more personalised experience. This is not some distant future issue but something that needs addressing right now. The valuation of Airbnb has already surpassed the market cap of major hotel chains such as Whyndham and Marriott for example.
While this huge change is something to take note of and address, it is not something to be feared, as Niki Christian Nutsch will be explaining in his guest session at RDO8. Niki has a very successful background in developing high-performing marketing and sales teams, with more than a decade in the vacation ownership and vacation rental industry. Niki has been able to serve the industry by generating sustainable and measurable performance and improvement across sales and marketing, through his own specialised research, consulting and training practice, Nutsch and Associates which he founded.
As well as his role as director within Nutsch and Associates, he also lectures in hospitality and tourism marketing within universities and business schools across Europe, and is often invited to industry conferences to deliver keynote speeches, presentations and seminars.
Airbnb & Co. – The evolving Vacation Home Market
During Niki’s presentation he will offer an insightful overview of today’s varied vacation home offerings and access models and an understanding of consumers’ key decision drivers, plus provide advice on how to make these work for the vacation ownership industry. Ultimately what he will show during his presentation, is that what many might view as a threat, is actually a huge opportunity to grow and increase profitability by offering what travellers are now looking for.
This should provide a huge transformation in terms of what many of our attendees may have feared beforehand, instead displaying how to make this new form of holiday accommodation work for the timeshare industry.
This will not just be theory but there will also be viable solutions that can be taken away and implemented almost immediately after RDO8, in particular:
- How to help renters transition into becoming owners by creating a viable value proposition and a home-away-from-home experience that truly stands out.
- How to capitalise on the changes that are occurring within the vacation rental industry such as consumer desires for authentic and local experiences, changing family dynamics, and an increasing urge by people to get away from everyday routine.
We would like to offer a big thanks to our Platinum sponsors, CLC World Resorts & Hotels, Diamond Resorts International, Interval International and RCI and our Gold level sponsors, Dial An Exchange, Generator Systems and Shawbrook Bank. Without our sponsors each year the event wouldn’t be possible so we are extremely grateful for their amazing support.