Hospitality networks need both supply (hosts) and demand (guests). It’s no surprise, in virtually every hospitality network – there are more guests than hosts. Who wouldn’t want to save the couple hundred dollars a hotel would cost by staying with a local? At least among millenials, the answer is virtually nobody. A delicate marketplace balancing act spanning thousands and thousands of cities all across the globe is required to accommodate the majority of guests within a given hospitality network.
Hosting a fellow community member requires you help your guest prior to arrival with travel advice. You send them instructions on how to get to your place. Exchange contact details. Determine when they will arrive, so as to be home to let them in. If scheduled to arrive at a time you’re busy, you either hide a key somewhere or arrange to have a friend meet them. And for the duration of their stay, be helpful, social, and accommodating. Entertain them. Go out on the town. Answer logistical questions about the area. You’ll probably clean your place before they show up, and again when they leave. Basically, all the things you’d go out of your way to do when friends stay at your place - but, for someone you’ve never met.
Net-net, it’s time cosuming and draining.
Why do hosts accommodate fellow hospitality network members at all? What’s in it for them?
A few primary reasons:
- Help others afford to explore the world
- Have amazing social experiences
- Cultural exchange - travel the world while sitting in your own home
- Build new professional connections
- Learning new skills or languages
- Pay it forward, with some expectation the favor will be reciprocated in the future
Everyone has busy personal and professional lives of their own, and with no real monetary incentive, most hosts don’t want to constantly host travelers day in, day out (which of course is what hotels do).
This is precisely where AirBnB saw an opportunity in 2008: add a monetary benefit to sharing your couch, futon, or spare bedroom with a stranger. It’s no surprise a financial incentive grew the number of people willing to take strangers into their homes.
Why do you host travelers in your home? You can Tweet us @gethorizonapp.
Hospitality Network Analysis