Airbnb, Inc. announced on September 19, 2019 that it expects to become a publicly-traded company sometime during 2020. This news came about a month after Airbnb also announced that on August 10, more than 4 million people spent the night in an Airbnb listing, and thus officially becoming the biggest night in Airbnb history. The Roadmap puts Airbnb on a path to more than 1 billion annual guests by 2028.
There’s no question that Airbnb’s mission “to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere” by creating and an end-to-end travel platform that will handle every part of the traveler’s trip, has seen substantial growth over the past few years.
But aside from the ability to provide a share platform for private homes, apartments and luxury residences around the world, Airbnb also announced in 2018 their intent to make it easier for boutique hotels and B&Bs to be listed on their platform.
This is a case of “If you can’t beat them, join them” at its best. Hotels are willing to work with Airbnb in part because they provide a unique type of brand loyalty with unparalleled growth and sense of community. So much so, that according to Paul Godman, senior industry manager, hospitality at Google, in terms of online searches, Airbnb is now the most searched-for accommodations brand, replacing Booking.com.
What is even more surprising is that Ariane Gorin, president, Expedia partner solutions, at Expedia, also stated that “44% of U.S. travelers said they would book hotels on Amazon if such a service existed.”
It is true that some boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts have listed on Airbnb for years, however the trend is now also expanding to independent hotels and soft brands also listing limited room availability or vacation residences, casitas and similar types of accommodations available through Airbnb listings.
In 2018, Airbnb saw a 152 percent increase in the number of rooms available on Airbnb in properties that hosts categorized as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other hospitality venues like hostels and resorts.
Guests who use Airbnb to book a hotel are returning to our their platform to try other ways to travel. Nearly 90 percent of guests who first used Airbnb to book a hotel room have returned to our platform and booked a room in a home or an entire home for their next trip. And that’s why Airbnb is so open to get boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts added to their offerings if in turn, some of those guests become repeated users in the future.
And it looks like Airbnb guests are equally satisfied with their hotel booking experience. Guests give their stays in boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other hospitality venues booked on Airbnb an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
According to Airbnb, “the expanded hotel offerings are making it easier for consumers to use Airbnb to find last-minute accommodations when home hosts are often already booked. The availability of boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts, in addition to private rooms and entire homes that are instantly bookable, helps ensure authentic, high-quality accommodations are available on-demand.”
However, not every hotel or resort property will be approved by Airbnb. According to their information, Airbnb is looking for “hosts who provide personal hospitality to guests and things such as locally relevant or unique amenities, community gathering spaces for meals and meetings, and local maps with personalized recommendations.” For any property interested, Airbnb’s full criteria are available here, and hotel owners who are interested in making their rooms available on Airbnb can learn more by clicking here.
One final note. Earlier this year, Airbnb completed the purchase of HotelTonight, a hotel booking platform that carries a wider selection of properties, including large, chain brands. If you’re a hotel owner interested in adding your property to HotelTonight, you can also visit the HotelTonight partners page.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).