Four Seasons weighs up Airbnb
Toronto, Canada – 8 June 2017 –
Bloomberg ran an article saying Four Seasons isn’t taking Airbnb’s push into high-end lodging lightly.
“I would be naive to say that we aren’t being mindful of the Airbnb effect,” Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts chief executive officer Allen Smith said in an interview about the Toronto-based company’s history and future outlook. “It’s just another example of the speed in which the market is changing and the manner in which we need to be prepared to respond to it.”
The five-star hotel chain created six decades ago by Isadore Sharp continues to expand worldwide while working to preserve its top-tier reputation in an industry increasingly driven by millennial expectations and tastes.
The company, jointly controlled by Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has introduced a mobile app that will include a chat function and plans a guest recognition programme to bolster loyalty.
In an era where plush bathrobes and free high-end toiletries are standard, the focus must be on refining guest service and staying on top of emerging trends, including the rapid ascent of digital disrupters, according to Smith.
“If you don’t, the risk is that the relevance of your brand diminishes over time regardless of what a great company this is,” said Smith.