Coverage: Marriott plans to take on Airbnb
Marriott is pushing more heavily into home-sharing, confident that its combination of luxury properties and loyalty points can lure travelers away from rivals like Airbnb.
Dee-Ann Durbin of the Associated Press had the story:
The world’s biggest hotel company will start taking reservations this week for 2,000 homes in 100 markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. It plans to expand its Homes and Villas program to other locations.
For its part, Airbnb is encroaching further into hotels. On Monday, the San Francisco-based company said it’s working with a New York real estate developer to establish a 10-story hotel with 200 suites in Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. The suites will only be available through Airbnb’s web site.
Airbnb, which plans to go public but hasn’t made clear when, also acquired Hotel Tonight, a last-minute booking service, in March.
Hospitality is one of several industries that’s seeing traditional players and startups take tentative steps into each other’s turf. Automakers are exploring ride-hailing. Ride-hailing companies are developing self-driving cars. Amazon is opening physical stores. Physical stores like Starbucks are experimenting with delivery.
Craig Karmin of The Wall Street Journal reported that guests can reserve homes through the Marriott site:
Guests will be able to book their home-rental reservations through the Marriott website, the company said. They will earn and can redeem loyalty points as they do when booking a stay with any of Marriott’s 29 brands, which include Sheraton, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton.
Other big U.S. hotel operators, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.and Hyatt Hotels Corp. , also have been exploring or studying the home-rental business, say people familiar with the matter. Some hotel executives, who had long dismissed Airbnb and Expedia Group Inc.’s HomeAway as competitors, now believe they are growing partly at the expense of hotel companies, especially with leisure travelers and large families.
At the same time, Airbnb has been moving aggressively into the traditional hospitality business. Airbnb said last month it was acquiring Hotel Tonight Inc., a company that culls inventory from hotels and offers discounted rooms. It also recently invested in the Indian hotel-booking company Oyo Hotels & Homes.
Paris Martineau of Wired reported that Airbnb controls 51 percent of the short-term rental business:
Marriott has its work cut out in competing with Airbnb, which controls 51 percent of the short-term rental market in the US, according to an analysis by Host Compliance, a company that tracks online rentals and works with city officials to enforce local laws. The second and third most popular services, VRBO and HomeAway—both owned by Expedia Group—control 17 and 11 percent of listings, respectively, per the analysis.