In its latest move, Airbnb is targeting market share from online travel agencies with a new hotel distribution platform.
The company announced Thursday it partnered with SiteMinder to allow boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to list on its site through a third-party distribution service. Small hotels and B&Bs have listed on Airbnb independently in the past, but will now be able to connect booking information to their existing property management system. The fully-integrated technology will provide a two-way, real-time sync with Airbnb to keep availability and rates updated.
After a property is approved by Airbnb, SiteMinder will add Airbnb as an online distribution channel, similar to how hotels use SiteMinder's platform to provide real-time room rates and availability to Expedia, Booking.com and other online booking channels. SiteMinder has more than 28,000 clients including leading boutique hotels, hotel ownership groups, and other hospitality providers globally.
Airbnb will charge a service fee of about 3 to 5 percent for hotels and accommodation providers, PhocusWire reported. That would be a drastically lower rate than OTAs require, which can charge as much as 30 percent. Airbnb will also not require hosts to sign contracts, and will manage all payments and transactions, according to the site.
Airbnb will list properties that meet the brand’s focus on authentic experiences, saying guests can expect to see “locally influenced and unique accommodations,” such as highly-rated independent hotels with personal touches or special amenities.
The new technology will be available in March.
Since launching its home-sharing service in 2008, Airbnb has diversified its product offerings. The company ventured into tours in 2016, selling customized multi-day packaged trips. Additionally, CEO Brian Chesky has hinted that the provider would add its own flight services at some point "in the future."