Airbnb has been not-so-slowly encroaching on hospitality companies’ market share, adding new offerings including boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and luxury accommodations to its home sharing options. In response, hoteliers, including AccorHotels and Hyatt Hotels, have begun to enter the home sharing business.
Now, the world’s largest hotel company is getting in on the action. Marriott International has partnered with Hostmaker, a London-based homestay property management company, for a six-month trial of Tribute Portfolio Homes.
Arne M. Sorenson, president & CEO of Marriott International Inc., said during a recent earnings call: “We have now figured out that we can run this business in a way that does fully comply with law. It will include payment of lodging taxes so that it’s a level playing field with the hotel business. It will very much include complying with local regulatory requirements on the number of nights that homes can be let in this way, and make that work.”
Each property within Tribute Portfolio Homes is vetted and reviewed by Marriott’s hospitality experts, and meets rigorous safety, security and design standards before they are accepted as part of Tribute Portfolio Homes. Local property management experts, like Hostmaker, will provide 24/7 support to guests during their stays.
Tribute Portfolio Homes will offer: 24-hour, in-person check-in; high-speed WiFi; premium bed linens and fluffy towels, and full-sized bath amenities; cooking essentials; and child-friendly items, such as highchairs and travel cribs.
Additionally, guests staying at Tribute Portfolio Homes will be able to earn through loyalty programs such as Marriott Rewards or SPG. Sorenson added: “The home sharing business skews overwhelmingly to leisure travel, not to business travel. The loyalty space is, obviously, particularly around redemptions, but it could be around point-earning, as well — we think, an advantage we’ve got that should bode us well in the space.”
“The other thing we’ve observed is that, as some of these platforms have grown into millions and millions of units, there is almost a paralyzing array of choices. The lack of branding and the lack of real attributes of quality around service and product makes this an area where we think we can bring our brands. We can bring our service and product focus and deliver something that is simply a better product than much of what is out there."
Tribute Portfolio Homes is currently undergoing beta testing in London. Hostmaker offers design, maintenance and management services to homeowners listing homes on home rental sites, and manages more than 1,500 homes internationally, including the curated list of properties offered through Tribute Portfolio Homes.