Opportunities in the Experiential Hotel Segment: An Exploratory Study of how the Industry Strikes Back Against Platform Disruptors

Rikke Grand Roth & Arantxa Andres Vitoria

Student thesis: Master thesis


The hospitality industry is continuously evolving as a result of technological advances and changing social trends, causing the competitive landscape which they operate within to be highly competitive. Further, a range of accommodation platforms has disrupted the industry and changed the rules of the market by leveraging digital ecosystems. This study therefore describes how emerging experience-based and tech-driven hotels implement innovative approaches to remain competitive against accommodation platforms, as well as explore the extent of their implementation of ecosystem strategies and the value which they might derive from them. For this study, secondary data has been collected on a peer-to-peer accommodation platform, while primary data was accumulated from observations as well as in-depth semi-structured interviews with managers at 2 experiential hotels in Copenhagen, with different levels of control over operations. The analysis shows that the experiential hotels in this research are implementing innovative organizational structures as well as altering the traditional hotel product by focusing on their target customers actual preferences and eliminating everything else from the hotels, thereby obtaining lower variable costs and more competitive prices. Furthermore, using different strategies, the hotels are aiming to implement an ecosystem approach to some extent, though they are not succeeding yet. The study concludes that the experiential hotels are superior to the accommodation platforms in some respects, such as service and the social and experiential aspect. Moreover, the experiential hotels can increase the value for their guests by learning from the platform market and improving their ecosystem approach. If employed successfully, an ecosystem will contribute to the customer value, and thereby possibly provide the hotel with a bigger market share and generate a stronger competitive position against disrupting accommodation platforms.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages178
SupervisorsTina Kretschel