Airbnb CEO Says It's Now 100% Battling Online Travel Agencies - PhoCusWright

Excerpt from PhoCusWright

Ambitions with expanding the platform

The platform’s newest features – the launch of four new property types; Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb; Airbnb Collections; and a Superguest program - add more elements to rival OTAs, all in pursuit of giving customers what Chesky calls the “best trip.”

“The product in travel is trips,” he says. “We believe the way we’re going to win or the way we’re going to win over hundreds of millions of customers is to have the best trip.

“We don’t need to beat our competitors; we just need to make sure that if you’re seeing incredibly local, personal, magical experiences, and if you see everything – eventually – in one app, you’re going to be able to come to Airbnb."

Chesky believes Airbnb has a number of advantages over OTAs, including unique inventory, a passionate community of people (“community is very hard to copy”) and multiple experiences in one app.

“We have Homes, Experiences and Restaurants – none of them do in the same way,” he says. “We’re a more vertically integrated, end-to-end, full-stack ecosystem powered by people.”

A key differentiator for boutique hotels, which now can list on the site through third-party distributor SiteMinder and are part of the company’s seven property types  – is Airbnb’s lower commission rate, which Chesky assures will remain lower than’s.

Boutiques also stand to benefit from the soon-to-launch Superguest program and the Airbnb Plus initiative.

“Superguest is basically like a guest loyalty recognition program. This will allow a local boutique to compete with a large hotel chain that has a loyalty program, and [the boutique] doesn’t even have a loyalty program because we can give them all the benefits,” Chesky says. “We can democratize many of those benefits just through our platform, and we can do it by offering another channel for them."

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