Airbnb buys HotelTonight as it doubles down on hotel booking

AirbnbHome rental marketplace Airbnb has put to pen to paper on an agreement to acquire HotelTonight, an app which helps people find discounted hotel rooms. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Airbnb aims to use the acquisition to add more boutique hotels to it platform, providing its users with last-minute availability at these hotels when possible home rental opportunities may have already been booked.

“A big part of building an end-to-end travel platform is serving every guest, whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance,” said Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO, and head of community at Airbnb.

“Working with the incredible team at HotelTonight, we will offer guests an unparalleled last-minute travel experience that provides unique, memorable hospitality on every trip, on any schedule, at any time.”

In 2018, according to Airbnb, the platform more than doubled the number of rooms available from hosts that were categorised as boutique hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels, or resorts. In addition, it claims that its users booked three times as many nights at boutique hotels in 2018 compared with 2017.

Furthermore, almost 90 per cent of guests who first used Airbnb to book a hotel room – and returned in future for another booking – chose to book a home on their second visit. Based on this, Airbnb sees the acquisition of HotelTonight providing a positive impact for its home hosts in the long run.

Upon completion of the acquisition, HotelTonight’s CEO Sam Shank will begin reporting to Greg Greeley, Airbnb’s president of homes and lead of its boutique hotel category.

“We started HotelTonight because we knew people wanted a better way to book an amazing hotel room on-demand, and we are excited to join forces with Airbnb to bring this service to guests around the world,” said Shank.

“Together, HotelTonight and Airbnb can give guests more choices and the world’s best boutique and independent hotels a genuine partner to connect them with those guests.”