The case study provided here was the basis for this project, presented in November 2017. My team’s and my goal with this case study was to find new synergies and efficiencies that Airbnb could leverage with relative ease to rapidly aid in their Asian market expansion.
Earning honourable mention and a semi-finalist standing at the Schulich Undergraduate Consulting Competition, “Airbnb: The Right Way Forward in Asia” evaluated how to maximize the company’s profitability in key growth markets.
Specifically this case study was focused on the Asia Business Travel Vertical, a high-growth region with a growing target audience, business travellers. Airbnb has competitive advantages it can leverage to gain business travel market share in this critical region.
While Airbnb has made significant investments in its own bookings platform, now used by some of the world’s largest organizations, the majority of commercial travel is booked using familiar tools (e.g., Concur, or travel agencies). Cross-listing Airbnb business-ready properties alongside hotels will greatly increase the company’s business travel market share.
While interoperability is key to ensuring access to Airbnb’s listings, it is ultimately the traveller’s decision where he or she stays. By offering incentives for new and frequent travellers in a targeted manner, Airbnb can effectively “buy” market share and recurring revenues with minimal upfront costs.
Airbnb listings provide the conveniences of business accommodations, but there is significantly more money to be made in expanding Airbnb’s service offerings. Airbnb Hosts looking to increase their earnings may offer ancillary services to upscale travellers, such as tours or car transfers, both high-demand services for international travellers.
Airbnb is a company experiencing rapid growth, fuelled by its diverse global accommodations, cost-effectiveness, and investments in its booking platforms. Further growth is projected in the Asia-Pacific region, especially amongst business travellers, and Airbnb stands to gain significantly if the company can execute on its Asian growth strategy.
As no external information was permitted within this competition (excl. image sources), please click here to review the case as it was published.