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<h2>Introduction</h2>
<p>The sharing economy, driven by websites like Airbnb, has upended the status quo in the modern, dynamic hospitality industry. As the general manager of a mid-sized hotel confronted with the difficulties posed by this disruptive force, Chelsea looks for creative solutions to compete and improve guest experiences. In her search, she discovers Deloitte's idea of "integrators" &ndash; five distinct roles that hotels might embrace to produce a more distinctive and memorable visitor experience. In order to position her hotel competitively and satisfy the evolving tastes of contemporary travellers, Chelsea should play one of the integrator roles, as will be covered in this essay.</p>
<h2>The factors that contributed to the problem</h2>
<p>The mid-sized hotel in Chelsea faced a variety of challenges in its battle against the sharing economy, which necessitated a calculated reaction to remain competitive. The task was shaped significantly by a number of important aspects. Changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, market projected growth, emotional and social benefits, authenticity and local identity, diverse business models, technology integration, cultural transformation, and random acts of kindness are some of the challenges associated with the sharing economy (Bulchand-Gidumal et al., 2020). The identical factors are addressed below. Platforms like Airbnb and Uber, which symbolise the sharing economy, have emerged as a disruptive force in the travel sector. In contrast to conventional hotels, it provided visitors with more economical, authentic, and alternative experiences. Chelsea's hotel occupancy rates and room pricing were impacted by Airbnb's quick growth and increasing popularity.</p>
<p>Consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly looking for authentic, socially engaged experiences that are also cost-effective (Behabtu et al., 2020). The appeal of Airbnb went beyond its low cost and ease of use; it also offered a sense of community and allowed visitors to interact with hosts and learn about the local way of life. The sharing economy expanded thanks to the development of technology. Travellers searching for unbiased advice and personal recommendations were drawn to Airbnb's user-friendly software and online review system. To improve visitor interactions and offer individualised services, hotels needed to use technology. The value of the sharing economy was anticipated to increase further, <em>reaching $335 billion by 2025</em>. Traditional hotels faced a long-term challenge as a result of this development potential, demanding quick action to stay competitive. The attractiveness of Airbnb extended beyond economic savings; it gave travellers emotional advantages, as they said they had more fun and developing relationships with hosts and other travellers (Bulchand-Gidumal et al., 2020).</p>
<p>For hotels to keep and draw in visitors, similar social and emotional experiences were required. The success of Airbnb was largely attributable to its emphasis on offering genuine experiences that represented the local identity and culture of each destination. To properly compete, hotels have to include regional accents and offer authentic experiences. By applying cutting-edge business strategies and creating shared places to promote social interaction among visitors, several hotels were able to successfully compete with the sharing economy (Boone et al., 2023). Hotels were able to cater to a wide range of visitor tastes by adopting new trends including communal bedrooms and hostels designed in a boutique style. To improve the guest experience, hotels have used technology. Mobile apps were employed to give local information, foster relationships between guests and workers, and foster social networking opportunities. Hotels used random acts of kindness to please clients and promote loyalty in order to compete with the sharing economy's element of surprise. These deeds included everything from freebies to specially tailored services. Hotels needed to undergo a culture shift to become more adaptable, creative, and centred on forming individualised interactions with visitors (Srovnal&iacute;kov&aacute; et al., 2020). They had to take on the role of an &ldquo;integrator,&rdquo; designing experiences that were specially catered to visitors' needs.</p>
<h2>Overview of sharing economy in general and its various applications in hospitality and tourism</h2>
<p>The sharing economy, often referred to as collaborative consumption or the peer-to-peer economy, is a socioeconomic structure that enables people to communicate with one another and exchange resources, products, services, and experiences via online platforms (Srovnal&iacute;kov&aacute; et al., 2020). By offering customers different, more inexpensive, and customised options, this new economic model has revolutionised a number of sectors, including the hotel and tourism industries. The sharing economy has upended conventional business models in the hospitality and tourism industry and influenced new consumer habits. The way people find lodging when travelling has changed as a result of websites like Airbnb, Couchsurfing, HomeAway, and VRBO. Travellers can now choose to rent private homes, flats, or even just a spare room from local hosts as an alternative to only staying in hotels. This pattern perfectly fits Chelsea's case study, the general manager of a mid-sized hotel that is having a hard time competing with Airbnb's growing popularity.</p>
<p>Millions of tourists looking for more genuine and culturally immersed experiences have been drawn to Airbnb, which has had a tremendous impact on the tourism industry (Mont et al., 2020). Visitors can learn more about the neighbourhood, sample local cuisine, and discover off-the-beaten-path attractions by staying with local hosts, something standard hotels might not be able to do. The sharing economy has an appeal that goes beyond cost-savings; it encourages emotional relationships between guests and hosts, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie. The sharing economy has transformed transport services in the tourism industry in addition to lodging. Travellers now prefer ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft over regular taxis because they are more practical and affordable (Mont et al., 2020). Similar to this, car-sharing programmes like Turo and Getaround enable visitors to lease automobiles from private owners, providing flexibility and local knowledge as they explore their destination.</p>
<p>Additionally, the sharing economy has grown to include experiences and pursuits that satisfy the demands of travellers looking for individualised and distinctive adventures. Through websites like EatWith and Feastly, visitors may meet local hosts who provide home-cooked dinners or other culinary experiences. Visitors can see their location from an insider's perspective with the help of personalised city tours offered by ToursbyLocals and Your Local Cousin, which are hosted by informed locals. The Hotel in Chelsea is a case study that shows how the hospitality sector must adapt to these changes in customer expectations (Mody et al., 2021). Authentic experiences and social contact are valued by forward-thinking hotels, and as a result, their business models have been modified. Some hotels have implemented social hours and common areas to promote interaction between visitors and hotel personnel and to create a sense of community. Some people have updated their spaces to match the local culture and provide visitors an immersive experience.</p>
<p>The success of the sharing economy in travel and hospitality is greatly influenced by technology (Mody et al., 2021). Travellers have grown to anticipate seamless online booking, current reviews, and individualised recommendations through mobile apps.&nbsp;</p>
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<h2>The attributes that consumers found attractive about the hospitality-sharing economy and the barriers</h2>
<p>Platforms like Airbnb, Couchsurfing, and HomeAway are examples of the hospitality-sharing economy. These services have captured consumer interest for a variety of reasons, but they also provide certain challenges and cause for concern. To compete successfully in a market increasingly dominated by the sharing economy, traditional hotels, like Chelsea's mid-sized hotel, must comprehend these characteristics. The attractive attributes are described below:</p>
<p>The possibility for cost savings is one of the main reasons why customers are lured to the sharing economy in the hospitality industry. Travel is now more reasonable for thrifty travellers thanks to Airbnb listings, which frequently have rates that are comparable to those of conventional hotels. Travellers may experience a destination more authentically and become fully immersed in local culture thanks to the sharing economy. A more fulfilling vacation experience can be had by booking accommodations with local hosts through websites like Airbnb, where they can meet people from the area, visit off-the-beaten-path destinations, and learn about the local culture (Tong et al., 2022). Private homes, apartments, as well as unusual assets like treehouses and houseboats, are all available as lodging choices in the sharing economy.&nbsp;</p>
<p>This type gives visitors the option to select lodging that matches their preferences and requirements, providing a degree of flexibility that conventional hotels might not be able to. For consumers, the sharing economy's social component is a big allure. By facilitating relationships between hosts and guests, platforms like Airbnb help people connect and feel like they belong (Gerwe and Silva, 2020). The chance to socialise, swap tales, and gain knowledge from local hosts is frequently valued by tourists. Platforms for the sharing economy offer streamlined booking tools and user-friendly websites that improve the whole travel experience. Through mobile apps, consumers can select accommodations that suit their preferences and make educated decisions thanks to real-time reviews and personalised recommendations.</p>
<p><strong>The significant barriers are addressed below&nbsp;</strong></p>
<p>In contrast to conventional hotels, where standards and service levels are ordinarily stable, the sharing economy may be more unexpected. Some customers worry about potential disappointments because the standard and cleanliness of hotels can vary (Gerwe and Silva, 2020). When staying with strangers in the sharing economy, trust and safety are essential considerations. Because of their concerns about scams, theft, and lax security, customers may be reluctant to reserve accommodations from individual hosts.The amenities and services often found in hotels, such as daily housekeeping, concierge help, and on-site eating options, may not be available in sharing economy accommodations. The comfort and convenience offered by conventional hotels may be preferred by some travellers (Gerwe and Silva, 2020). There are concerns about potential legal problems for both hosts and guests because the sharing economy has encountered regulatory difficulties in several places.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Some consumers may express privacy concerns over the idea of sharing personal space with strangers. Sharing economy lodgings may include more personal connections with hosts than hotels, which give each visitor a private room and bathroom.Sharing economy platforms could have few alternatives for customer service, in contrast to hotels, which often provide round-the-clock assistance. For travellers who value prompt assistance and accommodating support, this might be a disadvantage.</p>
<p><strong>The possible ways to addressing the challenges are:</strong></p>
<p>Traditional lodging establishments, such as Chelsea's mid-sized hotel, can take action to meet the appealing features of the sharing economy while reducing the difficulties and worries. Hotels can design common areas and plan social gatherings to promote interaction and build relationships with their guests by embracing the sense of community and real experiences that the sharing economy offers (Jiang and Lau, 2021). Hotels can stand out from the competition and appeal to visitors looking for more immersive stays by incorporating regional accents and offering genuine experiences. Hotels can make investments in strict quality control procedures and strong security methods to get rid of inconsistent service and issues about trust. Building trust and credibility can be accomplished by implementing guest review systems and publicising positive guest experiences.</p>
<p>The guest experience can be improved and rivalled by sharing economy platforms by delivering personalised services, integrating user-friendly technologies, and convenience through mobile apps. In addition, resolving privacy issues and making sure that all legal and regulatory standards are met would assist hotels build visitor confidence and show their dedication to guest safety and security.</p>
<h2>The concept of integrators as outlined by deloitte US the Hotel of the Future</h2>
<p>As described by Deloitte in their research on "The Hotel of the Future," integrators are crucial to transforming the hospitality sector to compete with the sharing economy (Jiang and Lau, 2021). The case study of Chelsea, the general manager of a medium-sized hotel, fits in nicely with Deloitte's idea of the hotel manager of the future as an integrator. An integrator, as used in the hotel sector, is a company that goes above and beyond standard hotel services to give visitors a complete and unique experience. In order to change the hotel experience, integrators can take on one of five different roles, according to Deloitte: curator, matchmaker, neighbour, architect, and choreographer. In its capacity as Curator, the hotel integrates experiences. The hotel of the future wants to give visitors a carefully selected list of events, nearby attractions, and one-of-a-kind experiences that are tailored to their tastes and interests (Martinez-Gonzalez et al., 2021). By giving visitors the chance to learn about the culture, history, and traditions of the location, this role embraces the idea of authenticity.&nbsp;</p>
<p>A matchmaker's job is to bring like-minded individuals together and generate particular chances for meaningful innovative connections. As a social connection facilitator, the hotel enhances and encourages visitors to mingle and affirmatively interact. Planning frequent social individual gatherings or events that draw particular people together, like the welcome reception held by the Sutton Place Hotel in Revelstoke, Chelsea may enhance social relationships. These programmes encourage a sense of belonging among visitors and offer chances for networking and making enduring connections. As a Neighbour, the hotel takes on the role of a cultural integrator, bridging the gap between visitors and the neighbourhood (Martinez-Gonzalez et al., 2021). By actively interacting with the neighbourhood and embracing regional traditions, the hotel promotes a sense of inclusion and belonging. In order to promote neighbourhood events and activities, Chelsea's hotel can work with adjacent companies, cultural institutions, and organisations. This will improve the guest experience and fortify relationships with the neighbourhood.</p>
<p>The hotel performs the function of an architect by integrating spaces and creating cutting-edge, adaptable surroundings that consider the changing demands and tastes of visitors. Chelsea's hotel may develop dynamic social hubs that promote guest interactions by redesigning communal spaces and combining elements of co-living and co-working, much like the social spaces established by Marriott's Element brand. To orchestrate an easy-going and memorable guest trip, the choreographer's work entails combining a variety of methods (Li et al., 2020). The hotel adopts a pro-active strategy to improve the guest experience from reservation through check-out. The hotel in Chelsea may use technology to expedite guest interactions, offer individualised recommendations, and create a hassle-free experience. Adopting programmes like Marriott's Six Degrees platform, which pairs visitors based on shared interests and backgrounds, can promote social interaction and boost customer satisfaction.</p>
<p>Integrator type and characteristic of each include their advantages and disadvantage with the details made available from the case study</p>
<p>In the case study, Deloitte offers five integrator types that hotels can use to compete with the sharing economy and improve the visitor experience. Based on the information in the case study, let's go through each sort of integrator, its traits, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The Curator function entails delivering clients carefully chosen activities, nearby sites, and cultural events while designing personalised experiences for them. The hotel serves as a point of entry to the distinctive attractions of the area, guaranteeing that visitors have a genuine and special stay. The hotel can accommodate different guest tastes by designing experiences and offering them custom itineraries (Koohang et al., 2023). Through fostering a stronger bond between visitors and the place, this strategy raises general satisfaction and promotes return trips. Finding and organising events that actually appeal with visitors is the problem. To keep the offerings interesting and current, significant research, partnerships with neighbourhood companies, and regular updates are needed.</p>
<p>The hotel acts as a matchmaker by organising social events and promoting networking to provide guests the chance to interact meaningfully. The objective is to create a sense of neighbourhood and make it possible for visitors to meet others who share their interests.Social interactions make for a more positive and rewarding visitor experience (Koohang et al., 2023). The hotel may improve client happiness and establish a solid reputation as a social centre by encouraging networking and new friendships.Some visitors might not be interested in making new friends while others would prefer peace and seclusion while visiting. To prevent alienating particular visitor groups, it is crucial to strike a balance between social initiatives and the requirement for personal space and preferences.</p>
<p>The focus of the Neighbour position is integrating the hotel with the neighbourhood and promoting the customs and cultures of the destination. The hotel supports nearby organisations and companies and participates actively in neighbourhood activities. The hotel can give visitors a distinctive and genuine experience by promoting the local culture. Additionally, it shows a dedication to sustainability and responsible tourism and deepens the hotel's ties to the neighbourhood. A thorough awareness of the destination and its values is necessary for cultural integration (Rashideh, 2020). It is crucial to approach with tact and respect because failing to understand or accurately reflect the local culture could cause misunderstandings or even upset visitors.</p>
<p>The hotel redesigns its areas as an architect to promote social interaction and accommodate shifting visitor preferences. A sense of community is fostered by the dynamic and adaptable architecture of communal spaces. Dynamic spaces encourage social interaction, fostering a welcoming environment for visitors to connect and exchange experiences. The hotel can modify its common areas to meet various visitor needs, making the most use of available space and raising visitor happiness (Rashideh, 2020). It could be expensive and labour-intensive to renovate a space. It might be difficult to strike the ideal mix between public and private areas while yet giving visitors the opportunity to socialise or relax alone as they see fit.</p>
<h2>Chelsea should play The integrator role in order to offer a more memorable hotel experience&nbsp;</h2>
<p>Based on the data in the case study, Chelsea, the hotel's general manager, should take on the position of "Curator" to provide guests with a more memorable stay. The curator's job entails carefully choosing events, sites, and cultural encounters that appeal to certain tastes and creating personalised itineraries for visitors (Erdem and Barakazı, 2023). By distinguishing itself as a Curator, Chelsea's Hotel can set itself apart from sharing economy websites like Airbnb, which might not be able to offer custom experiences. Chelsea can use her local knowledge and partnerships with companies to create custom itineraries for visitors that highlight the area's genuine offerings. This strategy will strengthen the visitors' sense of connection to the location and leave a lasting impression.</p>
<p>Additionally, the Curator role is in line with the rising demand among tourists, particularly millennials, for authentic and immersive experiences. By providing carefully chosen experiences, Chelsea's hotel can draw daring and experience-seeking visitors who value local culture and wish to venture beyond standard tourist hotspots (Yang, 2020). The Curator function enables Chelsea to draw on her knowledge and creativity to produce a completely unique visitor experience, even though other integrator roles like Matchmaker and Neighbour are as valuable. Chelsea can offer a smooth and personalised journey for her guests, increasing overall happiness and fostering customer loyalty, by integrating her work as a Curator with technology-driven initiatives, like the Choreographer role.</p>
<h2>Conclusion</h2>
<p>The sharing economy is having a huge impact on the hospitality sector, especially as platforms like Airbnb challenge established hotel business models. Hotels need to adapt and adopt new approaches to be competitive. Hotels may create a memorable visitor experience by using the integrator roles described by Deloitte. Chelsea should take on the role of "Curator" among these responsibilities in order to provide unique and genuine experiences and strengthen the bond between visitors and the place. The hotel in Chelsea can prosper in the changing hospitality industry and draw discerning guests looking for an authentically memorable stay by creating distinctive itineraries and embracing technology.</p>
<h2>Reference list:</h2>
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<p>Bulchand-Gidumal, J. and Meli&aacute;n-Gonz&aacute;lez, S., 2020. Why are ratings so high in the sharing economy? Evidence based on guest perspectives. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(10), pp.1248-1260.</p>
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<p>Gerwe, O. and Silva, R., 2020. Clarifying the sharing economy: Conceptualization, typology, antecedents, and effects. Academy of Management Perspectives, 34(1), pp.65-96.</p>
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