Hotel Honduras Maya was struggling as a result of Airbnb dominating the traveller market.
The hotel worked to reclaim a portion of the market by redesigning a handful of its rooms to resemble Airbnb properties and then listing them on Airbnb’s website. Each room was allocated to a member of Hotel Honduras Maya’s service staff, who posed as Airbnb hosts on the platform. Anger and shock turned to delight as unsuspecting guests arrived and found that they would be getting all the amenities and services of a hotel, for the price of a spare room.
Why it’s hot?
Delighted the customers by misleading them
The attention to detail paid to replicating the look and feel of Airbnb rooms served as a pleasant surprise to guests who possibly held negative perceptions of hotel rooms, and they shared this surprise on social media, producing plenty of user-generated content. There aren’t many instances in which it’s a good idea to mislead your customers, but by waiting to reveal the truth to its guests upon their arrival at the hotel, the brand showed that it could replicate the Airbnb experience and then offer so much more for the same price.
If you can’t beat them, join them
The problem the hotel was faced with is an industry-wide issue, one that reflects a cultural shift in how we travel and what we look for in holiday accommodation. Rather than hope for another change in culture that brought customers back to hotels, Honduras Maya went directly to the customers, positioning itself exactly where its target audience was already active.