Airbnb and Parity: What hoteliers need to know
As with any distribution channel that has the potential to undercut hotels’ direct price, tracking Airbnb’s service charge changes will be vital for maintaining parity.
Airbnb revealed earlier this year that they'd struck a partnership with hotel distribution platform SiteMinder. The move was met with an understandable flurry of excitement, principally due to the proposed 3-5% commission fee for hotels listing on the site (which are the moment are limited to boutiques and smaller properties).
This puts Airbnb in direct competition with online travel agents - and potentially with a much more attractive offering to hoteliers.
Should hotels be giving Airbnb a lower price as their commission fee is lower? Clearly not. Giving lower rates to services who take a smaller commission fee, but who charge for an additional guest service fee (which could be subject to change at any time) is a risky move for parity.
The key point here is the significant difference between what you pay Airbnb and what you pay an OTA. It may be that the difference is so stark that Airbnb can't afford to market itself in the way Expedia and Booking.com do, which might mean they might not be able to get to volume. If they get to volume, though, they'll be putting no small amount of pressure on the commissions that other third parties are charging.
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