Worldwide: Airbnb is to promote its hotel business by featuring a “Boutique Hotels” category on the main landing page and by including hotels in its space type filter.
On the homepage, Boutique Hotels is found next to the Entire Homes and Airbnb Plus categories in the “More ways to stay in 2019” section. The placement is deliberate as it is intended to make hotels easier for guests to discover and book.
If guests search and filter their results according to Home Type, a hotel room is now included among the entire place, private room and shared room filters.
Airbnb says the filter change is important as Home Type is among the top sorting mechanisms for guests, and there has not been an update to that section for some time.
The company also says the update will help hotel owners or general managers to better merchandise their properties up front.
Although at first glance the two changes might seem subtle, they speak to the demographics that Airbnb is targeting by placing a focus beyond its core short-term rental / home-sharing business.
The company has recently been reticent to divulge more details about its long-term ambitions and in particular, its potential strategy to venture into the hotel sector.
SiteMinder was the first platform to act as a global channel manager and there are a handful of other partners that also work with hotels. So far, Airbnb has remained silent on who it will work with next.
The update also closely mirrors the way in which Booking.com pushes its accommodation offerings. There, hotels and homes listings are combined on the website and many people in the industry believe this has given them the upper hand over competitors; something which Airbnb Homes president Greg Greeley denied last month.
Something that is clear however is that Airbnb is pushing its hotel accommodation offerings more and it is likely to continue on an even greater scale in 2019.