Silently debuting homestays, Booking.com jabs Airbnb
Booking.com, the online travel agency giant owned by Priceline Group, has begun listing homestays. These accommodations don’t come from Booking’s traditional vacation rental inventory.
A majority of the 5,100 homestays are also not available on Villas.com, the brand’s sister site. (Villas.com is a self-catering lodging counterpart to HomeAway, the largest vacation rental platform.)
The fresh content can be found by clicking a new “homestays” filter that has appeared on the left rail of Booking.com. The homestay filter option appears under “Property type” after a customer has run a hotel search and is looking to refine the results.
If Booking.com is committed to the “homestay” category, it is entering the turf of Airbnb, the current market leader in short-term rental customers.
In another Airbnb-like move, Booking.com is testing a design that makes pictures of properties much bigger and that has more intuitive drop-down menus and less visual clutter.