My Thoughts on Airbnb
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
I’m often asked what I think of Airbnb and has it hurt my bed and breakfast business. That’s two questions with two answers!
Airbnb does serve a purpose. It offers really cheap travel to a whole niche of people who would not get to travel ordinarily. This niche chooses lodging strictly based on price. As long as they have a bed and a bathroom (the 2nd “b” in Airbnb), they are happy. And often this niche group wants total anonymity and they tend to book in groups for a variety of reasons, not all of them good. They prefer self-check-in, wanting no contact with their hosts, don’t care about special amenities, least of all breakfast. The majority of Airbnb listings serve this group really well, which is great--these are not my ideal guests
My guests want to experience staying in a historic mansion, being greeted by, served by and looked after by me, their host.
Airbnb people are not looking for any of the special amenities we offer (they want cheap lodging after all) and they don’t care about enjoying a gourmet, four course breakfast each morning. They are happy with cereal or bagels or nothing at all.
Before Airbnb, these people, when they did travel, used to stay at a bed and breakfast as the rates were usually lower than nearby hotels, with hotel add-on fees already included in that better rate. These people, who booked solely on price, and often who traveled in groups, are now flocking to self-catering lodging, sharing a couch, sleeping on air mattresses, sleeping extra friends in the basement, etc., to keep their travel costs down.
I have lost that particular business—and the issues that came with the guests who just wanted the cheapest rate for as many people they could cram in their space, often without advance notice of extra people tagging along!
And I am OK with that.
The business that I still get are guests who want the full bed and breakfast experience, guests I’d be friends with, guests I have a lot in common with, guests who genuinely appreciate what we offer here, guests who want the personal attention we’re known for.
All that to say, I think Airbnb has actually done me a favor by siphoning off people who book based solely on price and “no” it hasn’t hurt my business.
So when you are wanting to experience the true bed and breakfast experience, check out OUR ROOMS and AVAILABILITY. You can also take a short VIDEO TOUR and get a little bit of the history of each room.