February 21, 2018

As Airbnb branches into hotels, new apps take up its mantle


Airbnb became a linchpin of the travel sharing economy alongside ride-hailing app Uber. However, the online travel agency’s unique peer-to-peer approach could be about to lose its edge.

While its new Experiences offering is all about giving its users access to walking tours, photography workshops, cooking classes and other location-specific activities, a more jarring development is Airbnb’s plan to allow hotels to offer their rooms on Airbnb.

Don’t expect to see global hotel brands on Airbnb, but it is likely that there will be fewer differences between Airbnb and the likes of Expedia and Booking.com. Either way, Airbnb is now as much about empty rental rooms as hosted homestays.

So is “travel sharing” over? Airbnb may be headed in a more corporate direction, but digital marketplaces where travellers can find a host are mushrooming.

Get the full story at the South China Morning Post