Most people are aware of Airbnb as the company to go to when a guest is looking to stay in a host’s home, or when they’re interested in renting their own place out.
The World’s Largest Hotel Operator Just Got Bigger
Marriott will soon be offering lodging in approximately 2000 luxury homes throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
Marriott is already the world’s largest operator of hotels, with approximately 1.3 million rooms available to book globally. It is likely that it will also make a significant impact in the home rental industry.
A pilot program in Europe has already yielded fruit for the company. Marriott partnered with Hostmaker, a home rental management company based in London. Together with Hostmaker, Marriott offered 340 properties for rent in London, Lisbon, Paris and Rome. Marriott is now partnering with other existing companies in the U.S. and around the globe to bring new options to consumers.
Booking will be available through Marriott’s website. Guests can earn and redeem loyalty points when booking the home rental reservations, just as they do when booking any of Marriott’s 29 brands of hotels, including Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton and W Hotels.
Marriott isn’t the only company that is exploring the home-rental business. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Hyatt Hotels Corp. are also considering Airbnb-style accommodations.
Still THE Name in Short Term Vacation Rentals
At the same time, Airbnb has been moving towards the traditional hotel business. Last month Airbnb announced that it is acquiring Hotel Tonight Inc., a company that offers discounted hotel rooms. Airbnb has also invested in Oyo Hotels & Homes, an Indian hotel-booking company.
Airbnb remains the largest home-rental provider, with over five million accommodations available around the world. The company is expected to go public sometime next year, adding to the competition between Airbnb and traditional hotel chains. Airbnb is likely to look for more opportunities to diversify before its IPO, in order to ensure a strong performance.
All the While, the Battle with Municipalities Continues
Some city governments have cracked down on Airbnb, saying that Airbnb hosts have turned their homes into illegal hotels that violate zoning ordinances. A new law in New York City, for instance, requires Airbnb to provide the city with detailed listing information. Other home-rental services would face the same restrictions.
Another hospitality company, onefinestay, attempted to dominate the home rental market, but was not successful. onefinestay was acquired by Accor, a Paris-based hotel company, in 2018, but the hospitality company continues to struggle.
Overall, the short term home rental business functions rather differently from traditional hospitality business, and those who dip into this market have a lot of catching up to do in order to begin to compete with Airbnb or Marriott and will need to think creatively and be willing to do business in innovative ways.