|Priceline, Expedia boost home-rental inventory as race with Airbnb heats up |
Riley McDermid Digital ProducerSan Francisco Business Times
Jul 25, 2017, 7:27am PDT
Travel booking giants Expedia and Priceline have boosted their home-rental inventory as they attempt to catch up with San Francisco-based Airbnb, which currently dominates the home-sharing space.
Airbnb has about a 15 percent share of the global room market, larger than Priceline's 9 percent share or Expedia's 12 percent slice, research from the Susquehanna International Group show.
But both travel sites are boosting their share of home-rentals because they want visitors to have as many options as possible — while still grabbing part of a market projected to grow 8 percent in 2017 to $34 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Vacation rentals are at the very early stages of being wired up on a global basis,” said Expedia Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi told the Journal. “To the extent that you as an e-commerce player can wire up these fragmented marketplaces, you can add significant value to both the supplier and also to consumers.”
To that end, Expedia's Booking.com has revved its home-rental inventory to 2.5 million listings in the last year, a 50 percent increase, while Expedia's HomeAway Inc. saw its online vacation rentals leap 48 percent during the first quarter, the Journal reports.
“For a very, very long time people have wanted to have this type of product,” Priceline Group CEO Glenn Fogel told the paper. “It’s not so much that people have changed. I believe technology has enabled this type of rental property to be so much easier for people to find.”