Over the past few years, we’ve seen a significant rise in the popularity of the sharing economy—from Airbnb to Uber to Feastly and beyond. People have grown accustomed to sharing goods and services with others in their community. While the growth of the sharing economy has made it possible for people to receive affordable meals, transportation and even pet-sitting services, one sharing company in particular has revolutionized the travel industry, inspiring the founding of other companies like it.
Students enrolled in hotel management schools have likely heard of Airbnb—a private lodging company that has grown to become very popular with travellers. Taking note of its success, a company called Love Home Swap has emerged, offering home sharing services to a niche market which includes mature travellers and families with small children. While Airbnb caters to a Millenials and younger generations, the majority of Love Home Swap’s listings include larger, high-end properties.
Pursuing a career in hotel management? Read on to learn more about Love Home Swap, and find out how you can draw inspiration from the sharing economy once you start you career.
A Look at Love Home Swap for Students in Hospitality Management College
Love Home Swap (LHS) was founded in 2011 by Debbie Wosskow, a 44-year-old mother of two. When commenting on the available listings that the majority of popular sharing economy websites have to offer, she said “There was nothing for me, people like me, who want to find the farmer’s market nearby, or have a place for their kids to play.”
She saw a niche within a growing market when she kicked-off LHS, which now has over 80,000 listings. “Think of it as Airbnb for grownups,” she states. On LHS, travellers can find luxury apartments, family vacation homes, and more, spread across 160 countries.
Some hotel management professionals might be wary of the booming sharing economy, seeing it as a potential threat to the hotel industry. However, many established hotels are actually getting in the game, viewing the growing trend as beneficial to them. In fact, several major hotel chains have started investing in these companies. For example, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has invested in Love Home Swap, while Hyatt was an investor in OneFineStay—a lodging company that only lists fine, luxury properties.
What Hotel Management College Grads Can Learn From the Sharing Economy
In hotel management college, you’ll learn that travellers enjoy customized experiences. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why the sharing economy has made such a huge impact on the way people travel. Using websites like Airbnb and Love Home Swap, travellers are capable of choosing their exact accommodations—from whether they want to stay in the city or by the sea to whether they want to rent or swap their own home. And technology plays a huge role in this aspect of the sharing economy, since these websites are accessible at all times.
While some hotels are investing in the sharing economy by backing select players, others are taking notes from the trend and adjusting their own business models to cater to more travellers. For instance, Hilton Worldwide launched an app that allows HHonors members to choose the room they want to stay in when they book. Users can also digitally check-in upon arrival and even unlock their room doors using the app’s digital room key.
Using technology, people can reserve lodging and transportation from their mobile devices, which offers a strong element of customization and convenience. When you start your own career in hotel management, you can use technology similarly, to give travellers more control over the decision-making process.
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Visit Canadian Tourism College for more information or to speak with an advisor.