Airbnb officially acquires HotelTonight

Worldwide: Airbnb has announced it has completed the acquisition of hotel-booking service HotelTonight.

The completion of the acquisition comes after news first filtered through five weeks ago about the proposed deal.

It coincides with a period of rapid growth for HotelTonight. In the first quarter of this calendar year, the number of room nights booked via HotelTonight year-over-year rose by more than 41 per cent.

Airbnb’s reasoning for the purchase is that it is working to reimagine travel by building an all-in-one travel platform, which connects where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, in one place.

The HotelTonight service focuses its remit on making last-minute trips easy and enjoyable, by offering travellers an efficient, on-demand booking for boutique and independent hotels. By working together, Airbnb and HotelTonight aim to offer guests a wider range of choices and make it easier for the world’s best boutique and independent hotels to connect with Airbnb’s global community of travellers.

Despite the acquisition, the HotelTonight app and website will continue operating as they do today, while HotelTonight co-founder and CEO, Sam Shank, will be responsible for leading the boutique hotel category at Airbnb.

Shank said: “When we founded HotelTonight, we sought to reimagine the hotel booking experience to be more simple, fast and fun, and to better connect travellers with the world’s best boutique and independent hotels. We are delighted to take this vision to new heights as part of Airbnb.”

Airbnb president of homes Greg Greeley said: “We want Airbnb to be the place where travellers plan all of their trips, whether they are booking one year or one day in advance. The HotelTonight team has a tremendous passion for helping guests and rich industry expertise. We are more than thrilled to have them on board.”

The HotelTonight app was launched to establish a unique booking experience, and it recently added a personalised daily deal offering feature, Daily Drop, which will help travellers booking for the upcoming spring and summer getaways.

In 2018, HotelTonight launched its desktop version and enhanced its HT Perks rewards programme. It is a sign that the company is seeking to cater for more millennial, on-the-go travellers to make use of its hotel-booking services.

In addition, HotelTonight’s growth is seen by the following:

  • HotelTonight’s revenue rose by 39 per cent in 2018.
  • Downloads of its app increased by 17 per cent month-over-month in March 2019.
  • The number of unique hotels that sold a Daily Drop booking in March increased by 47 per cent compared to the average for the previous month.
  • The number of new hotel partnerships went up by 110 per cent since early 2018.
  • It received three times its typical volume of inbound hotel partner inquiries in March.

The hotel booking service has rolled out an additional feature for guests to mark their travel experiences through achievements, by handing out badges when a customer reaches certain milestones, such as new countries or unique hotels they have visited.

Furthermore, the company added an option for guests to see how their HT Perks level tallies up against other HotelTonight customers; a popular feature that was requested by the community. Now, HotelTonight is prioritising the advancement of innovations across the company so it can better serve hotel partners and simplify the booking and guest experiences.

For more information on the acquisition, visit the Airbnb website here and the HotelTonight website here.

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