Accommodation

Airbnb takes on OTA rivals as it woos boutique hotels and B&Bs

Posted by Lee Hayhurst on
Airbnb takes on OTA rivals as it woos boutique hotels and B&Bs

Sharing economy platform Airbnb has launched a public assault on its OTA rivals targeting boutique hotels and B&B owners.

In an open letter aimed at the US market the site says commissions of up to 30% levied by Expedia and Booking.com are “too high”.

Airbnb says it has conducted research into the market with the US Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals to find out what property owners think.

In the letter, addressed to “Boutique Hotel and Bed and Breakfast Owners”, Airbnb said: “We know that many of you are thinking about the best ways to market your rooms online.

“Time and again, small business owners told us that the fees charged by travel agents like Expedia and Booking — which can be as high as 30% — are too high.”

Airbnb cites US visitor arrival numbers that show while international numbers are down the number of people using Airbnb to find accommodation is growing 30% year on year.

The site says it wants small property owners to connect with its community of guests from 191 countries globally.

“We want Airbnb to be for everyone, including professional hospitality providers that offer unique spaces and personal hospitality to the Airbnb community,” the letter goes on to say.

“We are a host-led company that is committed to providing the highest-quality services at a fair price.”

Airbnb claims to have facilitated 300 million customers to find accommodation to date and it will hit the one billion mark by 2028.

It concedes the platform may not be right for every property adding:

“We look for hosts who provide personal hospitality to guests and things like locally relevant or unique amenities and local maps with personalized recommendations

“Going forward, we want to ensure small business owners like you have access to our community of travellers.

In exchange for access to its community of travellers, Airbnb says it offers the following to property owners:

• New ways to help your rooms stand out. Last month, it announced four new property types to our platform – Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique.
• Lower fees. Airbnb said it offers lower fees compared to rival OTAs.
• No long-term contracts. Properties are offering full control over when their inventory appears on Airbnb and no competition against big chain hotels on the platform.
• Guests from around the world. Airbnb says it offers access to its global community of guests from more than 191 countries.
• New tools coming soon. Airbnb plans to launch a new guest membership programme offering benefits across the entire trip and inventory management tools.

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