In a surprising move last week, one of the largest rental companies and lodging experts, Airbnb has acquired HotelTonight, a last minute hotel booking service. The move is expected to expand Airbnb’s reach to traditional and boutique hotels.
The deal was closed at an unconfirmed price. However, HotelTonight was estimated at $465 million in its last evaluation, making this the biggest acquisition by Airbnb so far.
In a statement released by Chief Executive Brian Chesky, it was stated that this transit will provide guests with the ability to book hotels on the spot and get an unparalleled travel experience and warm hospitality on every single trip, on any schedule, at any time. He said, “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.”
By adding boutique hotels to its listings, Airbnb aims to provide the guests with “authentic, local experiences they have to come to expect on every trip.” Because of the acquisition’s “deep relationship with boutique hotels”, the company endeavors to present its user base with a wider range of options when it comes to emergency travel needs.
The last few years have seen a surge in the number of people demanding tailor-made hospitality. In 2018, Airbnb expanded its listings to double the numbers of the previous year, as well as seeing a threefold increase in booking numbers in such lodgings. Such phenomenon indicates a high demand for such properties in the market.
After the acquisition, HotelTonight is expected to function the same way, with no sweeping changes on the app or website. The company co-founder and CEO, Sam Shank will report to the Airbnb President of Homes.