By Elaine Glusac | New York Times
Airbnb, born in 2008, famously disrupted the hotel industry. It stole market share, put pressure on hotel rates, inspired the creation of affordable brands and saw hotels across the spectrum create restaurants, bars and lobbies that channeled the local vibe. Airbnb’s recent layoff of a quarter of its work force indicates the financial strain the company is under. Now the question is: Has Covid-19 disrupted the disrupter?
“I do think hotels may have a near-term advantage,” said Henry Harteveldt, a lodging industry analyst and the founder of Atmosphere Research Group, predicting that hotels will have the edge on hygiene and standardized social-distancing policies.
As the industry seeks to recover, the contest between hotels and home shares finds both struggling to convince the public that their rooms are virus-free, their terms are fair and their offerings are social-distancing appropriate.