Airbnb intensifies battle against OTAs and big hotel companies with new campaign

Airbnb wants boutique hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners to advertise with them


Airbnb has intensified its battle against online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and Booking by directly calling them out in an open letter to boutique hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners.

In an open letter, Airbnb made it clear that they want boutique hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners to advertise with them instead and claim that they are better than the big online travel agencies like Booking and Expedia.  It also called out big hotel chains and said: "You have full control over when your inventory appears on Airbnb and you’re not competing against big chain hotels on Airbnb."

One of its selling points highlighted in the open letter to make its case against OTAs saying Airbnb offers lower fees compared to online travel agencies.

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"Time and again, small business owners told us that the fees charged by travel agents like Expedia and Booking -- which can be as high as 30% -- are too high," Airbnb wrote in its open letter. 

The company also added four new property types to its platform recently – Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique where owners will be able to distinguish its rooms from other listings and guests will be able to more easily find the space they are looking for.

In 2017, US hotels were in the midst of strategising a battle plan to limit Airbnb's growing expansion. Airbnb has slowing but surely been encroaching on the traditional hotel customer base. Airbnb first burst onto the tourism scene in 2008, offering people the chance to find cheaper-than-hotel accommodation in a number of cities. The firm reportedly has its fingers in the pies of more than 35,000 cities and 192 countries across the world — it’s still growing. 

Airbnb is projecting it will earn as much as US $3.5 billion a year by 2020, according to sources close to the company. That's more than the market values of 85% of the companies in the Fortune 500.



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