Homes & Villas by Marriott International partners with BookingPal

Worldwide: Marriott International has announced BookingPal is to be its exclusive technology partner for the firm’s newly-formed Homes & Villas vacation rental division.

Homes & Villas by Marriott International was launched back in April as the company diversified from its core business into expanding its offering of luxury rentals in the alternative accommodations space, following a successful home-sharing pilot last year.

It ultimately hopes the platform will emerge as a competitor to rival Airbnb and it is already on its way to doing so. It now offers around 2,000 luxury rental properties in its portfolio in over 100 destinations around the world, including in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

As a result of this latest partnership with BookingPal, Marriott will be able to make use of the former’s connectivity platform, inventory management portal, reservation and payment engine, central reservation system and customer service portal.

Jennifer Hsieh, vice president of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, told Phocuswire: “Marriott has a history of innovation, and BookingPal’s capabilities have helped us quickly establish our new home rental offering providing guests, including members of our travel program Marriott Bonvoy, with more accommodation options to meet their evolving travel needs.”

Marriott is banking on its new home rentals division by offering an incentive to travellers to redeem loyalty points earned through its Bonvoy combined loyalty programme. The programme brings together Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest into one place for its 120 million+ members worldwide to access a range of benefits and offers.

The moves made by Marriott coincide with Airbnb’s rebranding of its own high-end rental segment as Luxe in June of this year and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ expansion of its rental portfolio with the launch of Four Seasons Private Retreats this summer.

Marriott Homes & Villas has also partnered with property management companies such as TurnKey Vacation Rentals, LaCure and Loyd & Townsend Rose.

Meanwhile, BookingPal, which was founded in 2013, provides channel management and distribution services to online travel agencies and property managers. It already counts Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor among its partners.

In February, the cloud-based travel technology company announced it had raised $12 million in a funding round led by Valor Capital Group with participation from Altabix. That investment consequently took the total investment into BookingPal to more than $20 million at the time of writing.

For more information, visit the Homes & Villas by Marriott International website here and the BookingPal platform here.