Google and Airbnb: an unstoppable revolution in hotel distribution?

Google and Airbnb: an unstoppable revolution in hotel distribution?

Google and Airbnb have both been making significant moves in the hotel distribution space, with wide-ranging consequences for OTAs and hoteliers.

With the launch of Google Hotel Finder and Airbnb Plus came a big shift in industry power dynamics, and we are yet to see the full impact of the two new platforms. 

Right now these new channels are a boon for hotels in terms of demand, but shifting models could necessitate big changes among managers. 

In August, Gino Engels, OTA Insight co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, wrote about how developments are encouraging hotels and OTAs to change strategy, the revenue model of the new platforms, and what comes next.

Click through to the full article on Hospitality Technology; here is the first section…

3-key-blog-2Hoteliers and online travel agencies have been nervously watching Google’s expansion for some time now. The tech giant’s Hotel Finder has evolved into a full-featured, competitive product that Expedia sees as a significant competitor. And last year, industry media coverage widened to include Airbnb, which confirmed its competition with OTAs.

How has this all come about? Is the revolution unstoppable? And what does it mean for hoteliers?

Demand-wise, new channels offer massive benefits to hotels. But like all emerging opportunities, they bring risk and change industry dynamics, especially if providing demand more cheaply.

With Airbnb Plus, the company's initiative to make boutique hotels bookable on the platform, per booking commission is a reasonable 3-5%, compared to over 15% in most other channels.

Gino goes on to address:

  • How Airbnb Plus is giving independent hotels more power
  • Why advertising spend may soon outpace what some hotels spend on commissions
  • The future of data sharing
  • The implications of recent developments at Airbnb and Google

Read the full article on Hospitality Technology.

(And you can read more on this issue in an article in a Toptal finance article entitled Perfecting Private Accommodations: Airbnb vs Expedia.)

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