Vrbo adds hotel inventory to meet travel demand

US: Expedia Group vacation rental brand Vrbo has added several hotels to its site as travel demand increases.

The platform has produced listings for IHG’s Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites brands; Wyndham’s La Quinta Inn & Suites, AmericInn and Super 8 brands; Magnuson Grand and Hyatt Place properties, as well as Extended Stay America Suites.

Each listing has a “Book now” button similar to Vrbo’s sister site Expedia, and offers guests the option of paying immediately or at the property. 

The move comes as reservations for whole homes experience high demand. In the past, Vrbo has included two-star hotels and other forms of inventory that were alternative to whole home vacation rentals, on which the platform has placed a strong focus to differentiate from other OTAs.

Tom Botts, chief commercial officer at Uplift, told Skift: “Hotels that have long branded the vacation rental platforms such as Vrbo and Airbnb the enemy may have second thoughts about their inventory appearing in these channels, further expanding their third-party distribution, especially in already high-demand markets like these. I’m waiting to see the Grand Hyatt New York on Vrbo — then we’ll know the world is fully spinning in reverse.”

Earlier this year, Vrbo reported a higher revenue per room night than the rest of Expedia’s other lodging divisions, driving the majority of direct bookings.

Other short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have also expanded into the hotel business. In 2019, the company made a significant foray into the segment by acquiring HotelTonight in a bid to create an all-in-one travel platform. Additional information is yet to follow on the deal.