I think the answer lies within a new trend in the hotel industry. Earlier this year, Accor Hotels have brought to life in a pilot program currently in development in France. “Accor Local” is a multi-share economy app that blends a variety of hospitality services, into one easy to use downloadable app. Services such as dry cleaning, florist, and spa specialists are among the hundreds of services delivered by the app. Sebastien Bazin, CEO of Accor Hotels stated that: “It’s clear that with this desire to enter into the “local services”, AccorHotels wants to change the way people interact with their hotels. The hotel, according to Accor, is no longer just for travelers or guests, but for everyone and anyone who has the ability to interact with them and to use them.” Implications for this trend could very well mean that hotel brands will change from a lodging service to a multi service industry. This could mean more jobs in the hotel industry and a higher retention rate for current hotel operators.
I currently work at a privately-owned hotel in the heart of downtown Houston. We are a full-service brand and provide a plethora of spa and yoga services. Typically, the business that comes from the spa department, are travelers and guests of the hotel. What if hotels started to follow suit? Produce a downloadable mobile app, brand it in a similar way Accor Hotels have created their own share economy app? I believe that this could be a way for hotels increase profits as well as give their specialist employees (fitness instructors, spa specialists, etc.) an extra way to gain business. Further implications could suggest that revolutionizing the way hotels engage with the local community, could bring a new network of local business opportunities. Hotels could be seen as a service provider as well as become dual hatted as a network of local services, that could be utilized by travelers and locals alike, bringing growth to small business. By embracing share economy apps, hotels can use this to their advantage to increase brand awareness and provide the local community with alternative options for local services.