Airbnb has acquired last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that is expected to accelerate Airbnb’s ambitions of becoming an end-to-end travel platform.
Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, emphasised the company’s desire to continue expanding into all aspects of travel, by building an end-to-end travel platform to serve every guest regardless if they plan their trips a year or a day in advance.
This latest acquisition also comes about a year after the launch of Airbnb Plus, which includes boutique hotels and traditional B&Bs. The home-sharing platform has also expanded into concierge services and optional tours in recent years.
This acquisition is also to meet demand from and for boutique hotels, where Airbnb said the collaboration will make it easier for smaller businesses and hoteliers.
In 2018, Airbnb doubled the number of rooms available on its platform that hosts categories as a boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other hospitality venues like hostels and resorts.
The statement shared that Airbnb guests have responded “enthusiastically to this increased supply, booking three times as many nights with boutique hotels in 2018 compared with 2017”.
The press statement also noted that boutique hotels are helping to bring new guests to Airbnb. Nearly 90 per cent of guests who first used Airbnb to book a hotel room returned to the platform for a second trip to book a home.
The HotelTonight app and website will continue to operate as usual. Once the acquisition is complete, Sam Shank will report to Greg Greeley, Airbnb’s president of homes, and lead the boutique hotel category.