What Airbnb’s Acquisition of HotelTonight Could Mean for Travelers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If HotelTonight’s most recent valuation of $465 million is accurate, it would be Airbnb’s largest acquisition to date, according to The New York Times.
In a statement, Airbnb CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky, said the deal fits into Airbnb’s plan to build “an end-to-end travel platform” that accommodates all travelers, whether they “plan their trip a year or a day in advance.”
With the addition of HotelTonight’s inventory, which is focused on boutique and independent properties, Airbnb will continue its effort to diversify beyond vacation rentals — many of which can only be reserved following approval from owners, which can take time.
Last year, Airbnb more than doubled the number of hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts and more traditional listings on its platform. The acquisition of HotelTonight signals a deeper investment in expanding its footprint in hotels.
According to internal Airbnb data, the average traveler is booking a trip more than 35 days in advance. But business travelers often have less lead time (closer to 20 days on average), suggesting that this strategic move may also echo Airbnb’s interest in luring more business travelers. In 2018, Airbnb reimagined its business travel community as Airbnb for Work, and more than doubled the number of companies that utilize Airbnb as an option for its employees.
HotelTonight’s inventory of more than 25,000 hotels may be insignificant when you consider that Airbnb’s listings exceed 6 million. But the purchase of HotelTonight could indicate that Airbnb is preparing to challenge the booking behemoths of Expedia Group (Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia) and Booking Holdings (Booking.com, Priceline and Kayak).
Both travel companies already have strong footholds in the alternate accommodation space. Expedia owns HomeAway, and Booking.com has long specialized in nontraditional listings ranging from campsites and igloos to guest houses and pensions.
Until then, however, Airbnb is clearly investing in the tools (and inventory) that will make it a more viable option for both last-minute and business travelers.
Feature photo courtesy of Airbnb.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees