This brief case summarizes the short-term reactions of Airbnb to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the changes that it made to adapt its strategy. The case also presents some prospects for the travel industry after the pandemic and addresses the question of whether Airbnb should continue with its strategy or alter it.
The case describes the creation and growth process of a company of the so called shared economy with a platform business model, which was potentially disruptive for the hotel industry. Using the setting of the Airbnb entry in Spain and the response of the hotel industry, the case looks in detail at the nature of the business model of a sharing economy firm and the challenges its advancement posed for the industry.
The case provides insights into some of the different parts of Airbnb's business model: how it creates and captures value, how a company with fewer resources is able to compete and overcome its rivals and threaten a powerful industry, when the success of its business is based on the trust of its users because the company does not guarantee safety.
This case helps us to understand the challenges that the growth of Airbnb poses for the hotel industry and reflect on the factors that made this business model so successful.