Within the hospitality industry, the ability to experience local cultures adds a new spin on travel, even offering the chance to stay with a local. However, in some cities Airbnb bookings are already more expensive than hotels, with many supposed “local” hosts on Airbnb in reality professional management companies that let houses on behalf of the owners.

This article discusses how some traditional hotel chains such as Ritz Carlton and Sheraton are experimenting with making their guests’ experiences more ‘local’, including food trucks on their premises, pop-up shops, and local art and decor, but facing the dual challenge of maintaining brand differentiation while offering unforgettable local experiences.

It also describes the feedback loop, with hotels looking for inspiration and local flavour in the sharing economy while the sharing economy looks to hotels for inspiration on service and brand consistency.

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