World's Largest Hotel Chain Marriott Plans Airbnb Rival That Lets You Earn Loyalty Points

Photo by FabioBalbi/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by US Technology Reporter and Laurence Dodds, The Telegraph, April 29, 2019

The world's largest hotel chain is launching a rival service to Airbnb in an attempt to seize a chunk of the home rental business before the latter company swallows it entirely, according to reports.

Marriott International, which also owns Sheraton, W Hotels and Ritz-Carlton, wants to preempt Airbnb's impending public float and may launch the new service in the US as early as next month.

Free Luxury Travel Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to The Dossier

Luxury Travel Advisor’s only newsletter, covering unique destinations and product news for affluent travelers. Delivered every Tuesday & Thursday.

It plans to reward guests of its new service with loyalty points that they can spend in its existing portfolio of 5,700 traditional hotels, said people familiar with the project.

The new service will build on a pilot programme Marriott ran in the UK last year, in which it joined forces with London-based home rental company Hostmaker to let out 212 homes in the capital.

It comes as Airbnb itself expands into the hotel market, adding luxury tiers such as Airbnb Plus and acquiring the last-minute booking app HotelTonight for an undisclosed sum.

But all the big hotel chains remain behind Airbnb in their number of guests, with Marriott hosting an estimated 1.3m and Hilton 900,000 compared to Airbnb's estimated 4.9m. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Marriott executives feel that the home rental market has become so big it can no longer be ignored, and want to build on a pilot program in Europe in which Marriott joined forces with the London-based home rental company Hostmaker.

Other US hotel chains, such as the Hilton and Hyatt groups, have reportedly also been exploring home rental services. Accor, the French hotel giant, has acquired the luxury home rental site Onefinestay, and Hyatt previously owned a stake in Oasis Collections, though it was bought out last year.

Starting a home rental service might also cause problems for Marriott, because many of its hotels are franchises whose owners might feel that the new service is cannibalising their pool of potential guests.

Airbnb's chief executive, Brian Chesky, has described its push into hotels as part of building an "end-to-end travel platform" which embraces all possible forms of travel. It is facing stiff competition for cheap travel from booking services such as Expedia, Booking.com and Trivago, all of which now offer home rentals.

A spokesman for Airbnb said of any new home rental services: “We welcome them to the party and wish them bon voyage.”

 

This article was written by US Technology Reporter and Laurence Dodds from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

Related Articles

New OASIS Diamond Program Offers 100 Percent Commission

ASTA Debuts Toolkit for National Travel Advisor Day

Virtuoso Unveils Incubator Program Class of 2019

Journese Launches New Cancellation & Commission Protection Plan

Suggested Articles

Travel Leaders Group applauds the signing into law of California Assembly Bill 5 with a travel industry exemption. The new legislation takes effect January 1,…

The Bermuda Tourism Authority reports the island sustained minimal damage following the passage of Hurricane Humberto and that all hotels are open.

Barron Hilton, who led Hilton Hotels Corporation for 30 years, has passed away. More here.