The latest round of “how the Sharing Economy is impacting our industry” came when Airbnb announced that interested Cuban hosts signed up to list over 1,000 homes on their apartment-sharing website, according to CNN Money on April 2, 2015.
The ability of Airbnb to mobilize homes and rooms for future tourists and business travelers — making them available for booking so quickly — far surpasses any efforts by existing chain or independent hoteliers to create their own room blocks. And what’s really impressive is how new Sharing Economy companies with similar business models enable them to start doing business in a newly opened Cuban market even faster than the airlines can officially start flying seats to Havana!
I think it’s remarkable that Sharing Economy companies can enter a marketplace and establish a competitive foothold years before any other competitors can even hang a shingle out to compete. Don’t be surprised if Uber or Lyft decides to establish a quick beach-head in the Cuban marketplace either!
Another impressive thing to note is the instant entry into a new marketplace — without significant capital investment, overhead, construction loans, headcount, etc. — to set up new business in the Sharing Economy model vs. the traditional travel business development model.
Clearly, the model is working in their favor, in terms of expansion and revenue generation opportunities. The traditionalists with their current models will have to ponder whether they have to change their existing business development models or modify them at least to remain competitive.