Marriott International is, of course, the single largest hotel company in the world, and now it is moving to take on Airbnb by meeting it on its home turf. That’s right, Marriott Interational will soon be offering its own website in the homeshare market.
Meet Marriott’s Airbnb Competitor
Marriott launched Tributeportfoliohomes.com in April of this year, and when it did, the company did so with a selection of more than 200 specially selected homes in the United Kingdom’s largest city, London. The service is initially intended to be a six-month pilot program conducted in as a partnership with Hostmaker, which is itself a home rental management service that is based in London.
Guests who use the service can expect to received additional extras such as a guaranteed in-person check-in experience, as well as a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week phone support system designed to help visitors out should they experience any problems during their stay.
One major advantage to this service is that those who use it will also received loyalty points for Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest customer loyalty programs. The benefits of customer loyalty programs has long been seen as a key advantage that large hospitality companies such as Marriott continue to hold over the upstart Airbnb.
The Marriott Difference
To be sure, other hotel chains have made forrays into the homestay market. A major difference in what Marriott is doing, however, is that Marriott is not creating an entirely new brand. In fact, it’s not even relying on the Hostmaker name to sell its products.
No, what Marriott is doing instead is using one of its already extant brands, the aforementioned Tribute Portfolio, which is a successful collection of 28 independent hotels with a diverse set of locations spread throughout the globe.
Experts say that in all likelihood, guests who use Tribute Portfolio should expect to receive an experience that is quite similar to the experience that they would get at a Tribute Portfolio Hotel.
The Difference From Airbnb
What sets this Marriott program aside from Airbnb is a few things, including quality control. Hostmaker offers on the ground maintenance and regular checks to ensure homes continue to meet its standards, whereas even Airbnb’s Plus model – a curated collection of verified homes – only has one initial check. After that, the system relies on consumer reviews.
Experts have said that they expect Hostmaker to be particularly exacting when it comes to design. In other words, homes will have to meet a stringent design criteria in order to qualify at all.