Traditionally, Hotels used to compare themselves with the usual 4-5 hotels which were similar in terms of category, price range or location. That was the norm before the pandemic hit. Since then, much has changed, and I would like to focus on the new comp set that many are not targeting: short term alternative accommodation, being Airbnb the biggest player.
Social distancing has been a key factor for many corporate clients to start choosing apartments (be it serviced or independent) over hotels. And they are liking it: remote and contactless check in, no queues or unnecessary waits, complete privacy and extra space. Besides, the time it takes for food delivery to the apartment is not longer than the usual Hotel room service.
As STR numbers have been showing, short term rental occupancy levels have been outperforming hotels during the pandemic. Many hotels are losing large numbers of regular customers to this relatively new supply of accommodation. And they might not even realize as they continue to focus on their “traditional” comp set.
Moving forward, Hotels will have to rethink who really are their current competitors, and in most cases, certain alternative accommodation will need to be added to the list, taking the place of underperforming hotels nearby. Technology is already offering these data (AirDNA, OTAInsight,…), it’s a matter of being aware and reacting on time.