Airbnb Battles OTAs - MGR Blog

Airbnb Continues to Battle Online Travel Agencies

Just fresh off the acquisition of Hotel Tonight, Airbnb is clearly positioning itself to face Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) head on.  With Hotel Tonight, Airbnb can now take a piece of the market on repeat bookings OTA style.

It seems like one of the most anticipated IPOs of 2019 has just added some more juice to its portfolio with more inventory that goes beyond private homes.  With this latest acquisition (price undisclosed) Airbnb now also offers hotel and private home accommodations for business and leisure travelers in addition to local experiences and services for meeting and event planners, thanks to the acquisition of Gaest.

In a PhocusWire interview, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said, quite clearly, that the company is “100% battling online travel agencies,” and that it has a number of advantages over OTAs, including ‘unique inventory, a passionate community of people and multiple experiences in one app.’ He also alluded to his mission of the end-to-end solution, saying, “The product in travel is trips. We believe the way we’re going to win or the way we’re going to win over hundreds of millions of customers is to have the best trip.”

How to Get Your Hotel Onto Airbnb

In other news, Airbnb also teamed up with Siteminder to develop technology that for the first time allows boutique hotels and B&Bs to have a real time connection of room rates and availability between Airbnb and the hotel’s property management system (PMS).

Of course this is not for all hotels.  Airbnb is looking for boutique hotels and B&Bs that offer a “unique” guest experience, such as highly-rated boutique hotels, lodges, bed & breakfasts or serviced apartments with unique design characteristics and personal touches which set the property apart from others. More details about Airbnb standards can be found here.  Not all hotels will be accepted, and we strongly encourage hotels to consider their fit before beginning the application.  If you believe your property could be a great fit, the first step to have your property listed on Airbnb is to apply via the form on this page.

Marriott International Launches Home Rentals In Over 100 Markets

Not to be left behind in this constant evolution between hotel bookings, OTAs and home rentals, last week Marriott International announced Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

According to Marriott’s official press release, starting next week when the offering launches, “they expect members of Marriott Bonvoy can earn and redeem points at these highly-curated homes, providing even more choice of accommodations that suit a range of travel needs around the world.

“The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.”

Marriott’s expansion into home rentals was developed as a result of the 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, nearly 90 percent were members of Marriott Bonvoy and over three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. These insights, along with Marriott’s commitment to providing travelers with unique and different accommodations including spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry and more, played an important role in guiding the selection of luxury and premium homes, as well as the key leisure markets available at launch that complement the core offerings of Marriott’s hotel portfolio.

Thank you for reading.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)