Airbnb wants to conquer the travel itinerary
Global branding exercises and large-scale power grabs are one thing, but it’s ultimately the individual guest experience that counts.
Airbnb has blurred the line between professional and amateur hospitality, using a carefully constructed set of policies and a self-regulating system review system for quality control. Hosts are nothing less than amateur boutique hoteliers.
In the past year, it’s become clear that Airbnb is not content to grab market share from “real” hotels and change the way the world thinks about travel accommodations. With the introduction of “experiences,” they went deeper into the travel itinerary.
Back in 2016, Airbnb invested nearly $13 million in a restaurant booking platform called Resy. This partnership allows Airbnb users to see and book restaurants directly through the company’s app and web site.
Airbnb is jockeying for position as a massive share-economy OTA. Airbnb is more valuable than any hotel chain – but the company’s valuation (nearly $31 billion) is still peanuts compared to Booking Holdings (around $100 billion), to say nothing of the combined value of the global OTA business. This is a gap that Airbnb wants to close.
The truth is, if Airbnb’s incursions into flight and dinner reservations are half as successful as their accommodations platform, the company will experience massive growth in the next decade. And if they can capture hotel guests looking for a local guide and a good restaurant, they might eventually capture more market share for accommodations.
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