EXCLUSIVE: Boutiques & Airbnb help spur innovation in chains

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One of Airbnb’s top dogs has revealed exclusively to Boutique Hotelier how the lodging website, along with boutique hotels, are helping to grow the wider travel industry and are providing inspiration to many of the larger hotel groups worldwide.

James McClure, Airbnb’s general manager for UK and Ireland, said that the business is helping to cater for those looking for a new experience and is opening up new areas of interest for travellers.

He also said that boutique hotels and Airbnb have helped spur innovation in larger hotel groups, especially when it comes to the creation of their own sub brands.

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McClure said: “I think in some way boutique hotels and Airbnb, to some extent, have been inspirational to the larger hotel groups, especially when they look to move some of their sub brands around. From my understanding, some of the brands under the same group umbrella have the same set up, but how they are marketed and to what kind of audience is very different in nature.

“I think the work that boutique hotels have done have helped inform a lot of the wider industry and ultimately we are all trying to encourage more trips.”

Airbnb’s own research revealed that 76% of Airbnb listings are actually outside the main hotel districts worldwide, something which McClure believes is helping to bring to life new neighbourhoods and put them on the hotel map.

Read the full interview with James McClure in the April issue of Boutique Hotelier, which will be available to download at the start of next month.

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