July 25, 2017

Stop moaning about Airbnb, tourism chief tells hotels

Stock Photo - Waving flag with Airbnb logo. Editorial 3D rendering
Copyright: moovstock / 123RF Stock Photo

The 50 greatest hotels in the world View Gallery Hotel chains need to stop complaining about companies such as Airbnb and instead embrace the accommodation phenomenon, believes the secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organisation.

Speaking exclusively to Telegraph Travel at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok, Taleb Rifai said that one of the greatest challenges facing the industry is technology, and more specifically growth in the so-called sharing economy. Several destinations, including Majorca, have sought to crack down on Airbnb Credit: Anna Lurye – Fotolia He said that the new genre of accommodation provider that is firmly established in some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations needs to be embraced rather than ostracised if traditional tourism companies are going to remain relevant as travel becomes possible to more and more people.

“[The industry] should recognise that [sharing accommodation] is not going to go away, so instead of weeping and moaning and yawning and saying ‘no, no, no, we don’t want it’, it must find ways of coming to terms with this phenomenon and make it work for their advantage,” he said.

“The so-called sharing economy has shaken our industry to its roots. I believe that our […]

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