Booking.com brags about number of rooms (instead of properties)
By a remarkable coincidence, following the acquisition of HomeAway by arch rival Expedia, Priceline Group has decided to “reveal Booking.com room stats for the first time”.
Booking.com has more than 820,000 properties, a hefty release says today, giving it somewhere in the region of some 21 million bookable rooms around the world.
As a result, the company claims it is now “the most diverse and popular accommodation platform in the world”.
The sudden focus on the volume of rooms available comes just days after the $3.9 billion HomeAway deal and with the ongoing focus on Airbnb and its ilk as serious challengers to the hotel booking status quo.
In particular is the word “bookable”, a significant element to mention given that a large number (45%) of HomeAway’s portfolio of properties still do not have availability shown online or with booking in real-time.
Regardless of whether this is some kind of rearguard action against Expedia, how does this all break down?
The number of hotel rooms on Booking.com come in at 14.4 million, clearly the largest segment in the portfolio.
Total number of vacation rental “rooms”? That would be 1.8 million.
And the “other unique categories of places to stay” (30 different types, including igloos (!), homestays, apartments, chalets)? Almost five million.
President and CEO of Priceline Group (and CEO of Booking.com), Darren Huston, says:
“For several years, we have been working behind the scenes to expand our offerings beyond the traditional hotel to help people experience the world in the way they want to that’s easier than anything else out there.
With obviously no hint as to the irony around the timing of today’s announcement, he adds:
“We are excited to today unveil our progress on this quest to bring diversity and uniqueness to travellers everywhere.”
That progress is impressive, nonetheless, with a 66% increase in the number of vacation rentals being added to Booking.com in just 12 months, illustrating how important the “alternative accommodation” sector is becoming to the traditional online travel agencies.
The US is the leading country for hotel bookings, with Spain winning on the guest house front, Italy for B&Bs, UK for hostels and inns and Sweden for boat-based accommodation.
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