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Airbnb pens open letter to hoteliers in attempt to trump rivals Expedia and Booking.com

The home-letting platform claims it is a cheaper alternative to travel agents Expedia and Booking.com whose 30% fees are ‘too high’

Airbnb has penned an open letter to boutique hotel and B&B owners in an attempt to attract more hotels and bed-and-breakfasts onto its platform.

In the letter, titled ‘Airbnb is for everyone: An open letter from Airbnb to boutique hotel and B+B owners’, Airbnb called for independent hoteliers to advertise on its platform, claiming it is a cheaper alternative to travel agents Expedia and Booking whose 30% fees are “too high”.

It listed its main selling points to hotel owners as follows:

  • Airbnb will add four new property types to our platform – Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique. With this change, hoteliers will be able to easily distinguish their rooms from other listings and guests will be able to more easily find the space they are looking for.
  • Airbnb is to to offer lower fees compared to online travel agencies (OTAs) that may charge commissions of up to 30%.
  • Airbnb doesn’t require hoteliers to sign contracts, and they don’t have to worry about competing with Marriott, Hilton and other big chains on the platform.
  • Airbnb gives access to global community of guests from more than 191 countries around the world.

Airbnb had commissioned independent research firm David Binder Research to interview owners and managers of traditional B&Bs, inns and boutique hotels to gauge the state of the market prior to the letter.

Some 49 hoteliers shared their insights with the research firm finding that half of the respondents have used Airbnb in the last twelve months to list properties, and 65% said that they would be more likely to use Airbnb after learning that it charges a maximum fee of 5% to all hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts.

It also found that the majority of respondents said that Airbnb’s new tools to list and manage rooms would make them more likely to use Airbnb.

AirBnb closed the letter by stating: “Many [B&B’s and boutique hotels] are already using Airbnb to offer the kind of local, unique and authentic travel experiences that Airbnb is known for. Going forward, we look forward to working with you.”

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