Airbnb: the next big hotel distribution channel?

Hotels and even chains will soon start to test the site
Is Airbnb’s alternative lodging solution really making such a disruptive impact on the hotel industry, the travel-tech website Skift asks?
Because it lists more rooms than any of the biggest hotel companies, Airbnb – like Amazon – is measured by the sheer size of its inventory. Booking data is not known, but its site traffic rivals Expedia.
Boutique hotels are feeling the pressure, but “spare room” lodging will never be an alternative solution to many of the stays that currently drive hotel revenues. There is a market for Airbnb, but it is far from being a universal one.
Airbnb is becoming a kind of online travel agency, as independent hotels, looking for alternatives to high-cost, low-margin OTAs, start to test the channel. Smaller chains may follow soon afterwards.
“Within 18 months, we predict that one of the major chains will announce a partnership that includes listing significant inventory for sale on the site,” Skift writes.


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