AccorHotels' Digital Transformation: A Response to Hospitality Disruptor Airbnb
The hotel industry is being disrupted by new digital players who have entered the market and challenge the conventional hospitality approach. The sharing economy in particular, with the Airbnb start-up in the lead, has created a major challenge, if not a threat, to established hotel chains. As a response, AccorHotels, Europe's leading hotel group, is going through a major digital transformation that impacts its corporate culture, organizational structure, value proposition, and overall business model. The goal is to turn the traditional asset-heavy company into an active player in the new hospitality economy, able to compete head-on with the industry's digital disruptors. Learning objective: The case discusses the strategic response of industry incumbents to the challenges coming from digital disruptors. Participants will be asked to compare the two business models from different angles: how do the different approaches deliver on the consumer proposition, and which are the strengths and weaknesses of each business model. Participants will further be asked to assess the strategic options of an asset-heavy incumbent to react to asset-light competitors in a context of digital disruption. The case serves as a basis to discuss the opportunities and challenges of industry incumbents to transform themselves and better compete in an increasingly digital business environment.