From TRD New York: As Airbnb plunges headfirst into the luxury market, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is taking steps to maintain millennial interest.
The five-star hotel chain launched a mobile application with a chat function and plans to start a guest recognition program, Bloomberg reported. Four Seasons CEO Allen Smith said that the company must stay on top of emerging trends or risk losing relevance.
“I would be naive to say that we aren’t being mindful of the Airbnb effect,” Smith told Bloomberg. “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.”
In February, Airbnb acquired Montreal-based Luxury Retreats, a high-end rentals manager in a deal valued at $300 million. The deal put Airbnb is direct competition with the Four Seasons’ own rental service. In March, Airbnb’s CEO hinted that the company may go public in 2018. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel