AirBnB to take Down Expedia
This could be the biggest game changer we see in the booking of hotels online
GTA/Octopus were unassailable. They were always going to be the biggest thing in hotels. Everyone had a preferred contract with GTA. By virtue of its nature, it’s practically impossible to see disruption coming.
But giants do fall. Ask Microsoft when it comes to Apple, Apple when it comes to Android and locally, the demise of Holden. Axl Rose, a great technology commentator said “nothing lasts forever and both know hearts can change.”
Few expected Qantas to partner with AirBnB; but Qantas only sign agreements when they know exactly what to expect in the near future. Calculated gambles. Not really it seems as in March, AirBnB wrote an open letter to boutique hotel and B&B operators claiming Expedia and bookings.com were ripping them off and that better business could be done with AirBnB.
Boutique hotels will take notice. It is very to stand out from the crowd when you’ve only got 15 to 50 rooms of perfectly satisfied customers saying wonderful things about you when big hotels with global brands can afford big marketing budgets and have hundreds of rooms. Small hotels will be very interested in a marketing tool that takes on the big chains.
Expedia owns a lot of the technology backbone from hotel to agent/traveller which means a faster and at times lower cost experience (with horrific customer service to boot) . But so too does AirBnB – people already configure how they want to rent out the spare bedroom and they recently signed an agreement with Siteminder, the system which manages the distribution of the rooms at each individual hotel.
eBay was never meant to be the place where everyone sold everything, it was an auction site for our leftover home goodies. AirBnB is more than capable of selling hotels at high volumes. Same tech now to be used differently. They are also just big shoe boxes of data anyway.
AirBnB only has 24,000 hotels , that will change. AirBnB could be the “go to location” to book a hotel that is not a Marriot, a Hilton or a Sofitel. As these brands have questionable relationships with Expedia, it puts them in an interesting position.
Let’s consider the Qantas experience; book with Qantas, fly with Qantas, stay in some random home overseas and earn Qantas points during a safe credit card transaction. AirBnB contracts more and more hotels, some of which are available through traditional channels like Expedia, Ready Rooms and roomsXML. Qantas has a new bargaining chip. AirBnB is also light on contracts ( which could be more of an issue in the UK…) which saves a business cost. Hell, they don’t even care if you are a hotel or not.
Don’t be surprised when your local AirBNB rep (who used to be your Expedia rep and Octopus rep) comes to you with great deals about the new AirBnB agent affiliate network scheme….
Big changes brewing. Qantas don’t get many bets wrong.
AirBnB might need to be a little less aggressive when it comes to dealing with behemoths like Marriot…