HomeAway adds hotels to its listings, mirroring recent move by Airbnb
While Airbnb moves to publicly and brashly add independent hotels to its platform, competitor HomeAway has been quietly doing the same while attracting less attention
A few months ago, Airbnb made waves within the hospitality industry when the company announced that it would be working to add boutique, independent, and bed-and-breakfast style hospitality properties to its online platform.
In making this announcement, Airbnb also criticized online travel agencies including Expedia and Booking.com, alleging that they were charging those same types of properties excessive commissions on the stays booked through their websites. Airbnb essentially presented itself as a cheaper alternative, one that gives hospitality users access to a much wider range of potential guests. Well, now Airbnb is not the only alternative lodging brand that is moving to expand the number of hotel listings it provides its users with.
HomeAway is making the move too, just in a slightly different way, also adding the hotel partners possessed by its parent company, the aforementioned Expedia Group.
Expedia and HomeAway
Expedia’s core online travel agency brands have been adding HomeAway’s vacation rental listings for some time now, mixing them with their broad selection of existing hotel listings and placing an emphasis on Expedia.com.
To this point, Expedia has already added 25,000 vacation rental options from HomeAway during the first quarter alone, and the total number of listings that Expedia gets from HomeAway now stands at around 150,000. None of this is new, and, indeed, the hospitality industry and customers alike have known that Expedia is not listing HomeAway properties for some time.
What is new, however, is that listings are starting to go the other way, with Expedia listings for certain properties appearing on the platform run by HomeAway. Essentially, HomeAway has started to add hotel suits and other home-like lodging from Expedia, with the thinking being that expanding the number and types of properties can improve conversions and ultimately increase the number of bookings that guests make through HomeAway.
What Expedia Leadership is Saying
Expedia’s leadership has been quite bullish about the two-way exchange of different types of lodging. In fact, the company’s CEO, Mark Okerstrom, has expressed great optimism about alternative accommodations and its HomeAway business, noting that HomeAway now offers a total of roughly 1.6 million inventory listings, and that at the end of the first quarter the brand was able to reach $10 billion in gross bookings for a trailing 12-month period, a milestone for it.
Okerstrom also said that alternative lodging is growing faster than hotel business and quicker than the overall travel industry. Basically, with all this in mind it is important for those in the hospitality industry to realize that booking platforms are dynamic and likely to continue evolving in the coming years.
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