TOURBAN - BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS IO4
THE AIRBNB EXPERIENCE AND GAMMO BY InEuropa srl Italy
Based on our personal experiences, we decided to fill the business model canvas related to the opening and running of an Airbnb in Modena (Emilia-Romagna region) and Pescia (Tuscany region), two different locations in Italy.
The BMC allowed us to identify all the elements related to the start-up actions, to the running actions, and to the key relations to be created in order to guarantee a sustainability of the business itself and its success.
An Airbnb is a new way of renting own properties (being spare flats/houses or rooms) through an online platform.
Lately, Airbnb has become a new concept of tourism facility allowing visitors/tourists to be directly in touch with local people and experiencing the place. This new concept has upset the traditional accommodation services, such as hotels or B&B, by creating a network of trust between hosts and clients/guests who become “partners” in this new touristic approach.
The fast evolution of the online platform has transformed it into a complete tourist service provider concerning accommodation but also food and experiences:
The Airbnb host is not necessarily a professional tourist provider, and this makes the experience increase and acquire a local added value, making a difference for the tourist/visitor who can explore the hidden aspects and peculiarities of local living habits.
In addition, our guests in Modena will have an additional experience playing the GAMMO game:
the main aim of the GAMMO game is to guide the visitor in a special experience, that s/he would not be able to make by watching TV programmes or visiting the city in a traditional way, guided by tourist books, or following city posts and tourist signs, following a guided tour or downloading and reading the history and traditions of Modena from institutional websites.
The Modena experience is the added value of GAMMO which can bring you to live a few unforgettable days experiencing talks with local people, local traditional food, local heritage, motors and music.
Specifically, key actions will be:
> the interaction with the local inhabitants and their stories: local farmers, traders, old inhabitants are the true heritage of the city, since they are the custodians of the ancient traditions and folk tales about the city
> the exploration of some special places in Modena that are outside the main touristic routes but that are very significant and relevant to the city
> the challenges to be faced and the reward that is always strictly connected to the discovery of Modena
THE BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS: THE AIRBNB EXPERIENCE and the GAMMO
Here follows the picture summarizing the filling up of the Business Model Canvas.
To be able to read the canvas well, it is necessary to start from the central part:
The PURPOSE of the idea is to run an Airbnb as a way to increase tourist offer and fill the gap of emotional offer to be provided (PROBLEM).
Before Airbnb approach, both tourist accommodation offers in Modena and Pescia were based on the traditional hotels and B&B, which have been recorded as “old style”, not responding to the new touristic demand.
Therefore, the VALUE PROVIDED thanks to this is the emotional involvement for tourists who can be helped to appreciate and live a unique experience in any of the two cities (HOW YOU HELP). In addition, in Modena, they will have a further experience getting to know the town, its people and traditions through the GAMMO.
Following the boxes from the left to the right of the BMC table, are:
1.KEY PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS (who are they)
Here we listed people and organisations that can support us, directly or indirectly, able to create our value chain:
- other local tourist suppliers, that of course we know very well such as bars, other Airbnb accommodations, restaurants, pubs and other tourist attractions and facilities;
- the Airbnb platform itself that is a great help for providing accommodations to the tourists, in terms of organization and communication. It is important to know well how it works and how we can exploit its services at the best. A useful way to know the platform very well is to travel by using it as a tourist. Platforms such as Airbnb, Tripadvisor or Booking.com are global wide and provide such a wide audience that couldn’t ever be reached with an independent own website. They help the service providers not sell rooms/facilities but sell trust touching a global audience all at once.
- Family and friends, as they can help a new business through the word of mouth and by recommending it to the circle of their professional and personal relations. Moreover, they can be of help for giving us recommendations, tips and advices with “external eyes”.
- Clients’ reviews – These are the most important tools of our clients which become “partners”. They publish their level of satisfaction and reviews which are very important and relevant for the decision process of other potential customers, like in Booking.com, Tripadvisor.com etc. The reviews create trust as they are the most reliable elements classifying the service you provide.
- other web platforms and reservation websites such as Booking.com, Trivago.com, expedia.com, etc. that can be used as well to promote and facilitate the reservation of the accommodation we have.
There are many platforms available on the web, but each of them is clustered and specifically addresses a certain type of audience, attracting the right clients. For this, it is very important to be aware and select the right platform responding to our requirements and ideal clients.
Moreover, in Modena, the local stakeholders who are key actors and milestones of the GAMMO game are the local photographer, the Albinelli market, the balsamic vinegar cellar, the municipal theatre, Enzo the restaurant, and all the places and people involved in the game. The ICT company to manage the GAMMO app. The city of Modena is also a key stakeholder to promote the GAMMO and make it work properly.
2. KEY ACTIVITIES (what key activities our Valuable Proposition requires)
- first of all, we registered on Airbnb and we edited a profile on the platform
- we took photos of the flat/room in order to have a more attractive post on the platform
- we made the GAMMO (GAMifying MOdena) active
- we follow the administrative procedures at the local level
- we host tourists and visitors
- we manage the GAMMO game
- we invite/support guests to play the game (GAMMO)
3. KEY RESOURCES (what resources are needed)
The basic resources to run an Airbnb are the following:
- email, because there is a platform that you can use also through an app but the email is important to answer to requests and questions that you receive from the portal.
- PC and mobile app
- vacant flat or rooms
- GAMMO game: QR code, GAMMO App, wifi, gifts
4. VALUABLE PROPOSITION (what value we deliver to our customer)
Keywords related to Airbnb platform and GAMMO: trust, reliability, confidence, experience, exchange, network, share, gamification, fun.
The relation with the customers/guests starts when they make a reservation and contact you for the first time. This is the right time when we start the interaction and the process of building trust. Indeed, we are in touch for giving recommendations, answering any questions, making proposal for the local experience, etc. in order to make the customer start “liking” us and trust the experience we propose, feeling free to ask as if we have been knowing each other for long.
GAMMO game will make the Airbnb guests experience Modena traditions through gamification and full immersion in local traditions and local types.
5. CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS (what type of relationship does each customer segment requires)
The customer segment of the Airbnb experience is made of a tourist/visitor who is willing to experience her/his trip in deep by exploring the local living habits, traditions, food, heritage in a different way.
The real added value of an Airbnb service provider relays on the capacity of creating a good relation, of creating trust and let the tourist/visitor feel at home. For sure it is important to provide the client with:
- friendly approach
- list and recommendation of local facilities
- problem solving approach
Moreover, GAMMO, in line with Airbnb aims and purposes, will support to tourist to create new and direct relations with the local people in Modena, that will be happy to provide him/her with suggestions, recommendations and tips about the city.
6. CHANNELS (define the channel phases)
- Airbnb platform – always available, to create the first contact between the parties. The platform is a window that shows the service provided and the related reviews. Once the potential guests contact the hosts, the platform becomes an interactive tool to activate the experience
The platform is the channel necessary for making reservations, paying, commenting, etc.
Phases to use the platform: before, during, after
- word of mouth – before, during, after
- reviews – after, when the experience has been accomplished, both guests and hosts can post reciprocal reviews to score it
- social media – before, during, after
- GAMMO App and QR code – during the stay
7. CUSTOMER SEGMENT (mass market, niche, segmented)
The customer segment of the Airbnb experience is made of a tourist/visitor/student/worker/family who is willing to experience her/his trip in deep by exploring the local living habits, traditions, food, heritage in a different way.
Airbnb is the perfect platform that brings us the clients we like to host: especially foreigners, easy going, very open minded and willing to have a personal interaction with the host, willing to know the personal suggestions and recommendations of the host about what to see and to do in the city, and very open to share experiences and opinions.
Besides the clients as final users of the service provided by Airbnb, we create a network of local relations and contribute to the growth and development of local economy and tourist cycle by promoting local stakeholders (bars, restaurants, museums, etc..) and enhancing the fruition of the city in its peculiarities and complexion. This can be enhanced also by the GAMMO activation and implementation.
8. COST STRUCTURE
Running an accommodation service generates costs that are necessary to guarantee a high-level provision. It is important to have a clear idea of what the service requires in order to comply with the expenditures.
- Time is what we give to make the guest live her/his experience in deep
Besides time, it is important to guarantee cleanness, additional facilities (like breakfast or meals, local transportation) and be aligned with local and national financial requirements:
- breakfast/meals to be provided
- local transport
- Airbnb commission
- national and local taxes
As far as the GAMMO is concerned, the resources required relate to the following items:
- GAMMO app development
- QR code activation and functioning
- Keeping local relations active and engaged
- GAMMO management
9. REVENUE STREAM
The benefits we get from running an Airbnb are the following:
- new relationships
- positive reviews
- new knowledge on other countries
- new networks (also at the local level)- satisfaction because at the end you are satisfied with the experience also as a host and had fun (GAMMO)
10. PROBLEMS (what problem we are trying to solve)
The problems we are trying to solve are related to the change in the tourist demand. Tourists/visitors/business travellers but also families are looking for new experiences when they travel. "The future is not in sedentary travel", says Afar, and it's not in cookie-cutter package tourism either. Consumer attitudes are changing, and people want to "travel better, on a deeper emotional and more personal level…..Experiential travel is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture. And it's growing fast. (https://www.trekksoft.com/en/blog/rise-of-experiential-travel).
City tourism is one of the fastest growing travel segments worldwide and the changing nature of city tourism becomes increasingly apparent in many cities. Facilitated by mobile access to information, tourists are increasingly seeking, finding and consuming ‘local experiences’ and the boundaries between tourists and residents become increasingly blurred. While the impact of the proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the travel industry as well as on tourist behaviour and the travel experience has been widely acknowledged the implications of this new type of tourism for future urban development have received little attention (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40309-015-0078-5)
11. SOLUTION (what solution we propose)
Airbnb is a challenging innovation to which traditional hospitality will have to respond. Its impact has at the same time led to a call for regulatory policies. The definition of these policies and the evolution of tourism are variables that determine future scenarios. With the largest networked accommodation service, Airbnb, now surpassing the major hotel chains in number of beds offered and in market valuation, it is safe to say that many realized the extent of this disruptive business model too late. (“Airbnb: the future of networked hospitality businesses” by Jeroen Oskam)
12. KEY METRICS
When running a tourist service, the level of satisfaction of clients becomes the most important indicator to measure the business impact.
Specifically, for an Airbnb, the key metrics are the following:
- customer satisfaction via reviews
- local relations improvement
- type (and not the number) of relation created
- GAMMO users (numbers)
- GAMMO photos collected (posted)
- GAMMO users’ satisfaction and reviews