May 31, 2018

The pros and cons of listing hotels on Airbnb

The experience of one property that lists on the platform indicates that hoteliers should prepare for a different kind of booking experience with Airbnb.

Long viewed as an adversary of the hotel industry, Airbnb is now offering a spot on its platform for boutique hotels. Offered at a relatively low cost compared to other channels—like online travel agencies—sources said there are clear reasons why working with Airbnb is advantageous, but there are challenges as well.

Daniel Cauley, revenue manager at The Guesthouse Hotel in Chicago, said the property has been listed on Airbnb for years. That is in large part because the property has transformed considerably over the years, transitioning from vacation rental properties with a small hotel attached to entirely a hotel. He said the property started on more traditional vacation rental platforms before moving on to Airbnb.

Listing on the alternative-accommodations site has “been pretty successful,” he said, but that revenue “is more of a supplement than a driving factor.”

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