Airbnb’s recent expansion into the vacation rental market heralded a strategic shift to move beyond the peer-to-peer model on which it was founded. This is making big waves in the hospitality industry. While there is much speculation about the impact this will have on the industry, there is little doubt the magnitude of the opportunity this affords property management companies – including access to their 32 million monthly visitors in more than 190 countries. LeisureLink is the first technology partner to integrate on the Airbnb vacation rental API, an exclusive channel through which Airbnb can rapidly scale in the vacation rental market.
The integration between LeisureLink and Airbnb was seamless, and now LeisureLink suppliers (property managers) have easy access to Airbnb’s vast network of travelers. Airbnb, a household name for some time now, represents a rapidly growing niche of the accommodations market. According to a report by GlobalWebIndex, 8% of internet users in North America and 14% worldwide rented rooms or apartments through a home and lodging rentals service in Q1 2014. Already, hundreds of LeisureLink’s clients are benefiting from exposure to the highly engaged Airbnb audience. Skift reports that at 9 to 11 minutes on average, Airbnb’s users spend more time on the site than any other travel site’s users, and they view over 7 million pages of the site per day.
Airbnb exposure affords vacation rental suppliers the unique opportunity for dual exposure – on traditional OTAs (the hotel side) and within the sharing economy (the owner-supplied side). Not only does this expand the volume of eyes on LeisureLink’s partners but it puts vacation rentals in front of a different kind of traveler, one who is looking for a local experience,often searching of a larger space, and desiring rates that are more affordable than the standard hotel. Property management companies are already skilled at delivering on these requirements. The fit is natural – and it is lucrative.
Airbnb is, unsurprisingly, popular among millennial travelers, however, there are also unexpected audiences such as extended stays (which Airbnb says are about 10% of its business), family travel, and over 250 corporate travel programs, including Google and Salesforce according to reports by Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveller.
For vacation rental suppliers already working with LeisureLink, Airbnb distribution is just a mouse click away. It’s as simple as the flip of a switch since LeisureLink connects with most property management systems. It has never been easier to manage online distribution from one platform-automating and optimizing rates, availability, specials, and content changes.
Why is this so important? Because this year is poised to be the tipping point for the vacation rental market. According to a recent study commissioned by Choice Hotels International, Americans are planning to spend 8% more on leisure travel, and 5% more per trip than they did in 2014. Millennial leisure travel spending will increase by 6%, spending for families traveling with children will increase by 5%, and senior spending will increase by a whopping 33%.
However, leisure travelers are still searching for the best deals – 62% said the most influential factor when selecting a travel destination was budget. Vacation rental companies are primed to supply the spacious accommodations, the “sense of belonging” that Airbnb travelers desire, and, perhaps most importantly, the ideal rates that will influence travelers to stay.
With the expanded partnership of Airbnb and the support of experienced LeisureLink Account Managers, LeisureLink clients can be confident they are reaching all the right channels with the right inventory to optimize their online revenue potential.
Learn more about how simple it is to connect to Airbnb via LeisureLink at http://www.leisurelink.com/Airbnb