Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently said that more traditional hospitality businesses shouldn’t be excluded from its portfolio of more than 4 million listings worldwide, although proprietors of “mass-produced hospitality” aren’t welcome.
It is now actively expanding its accommodation choices through a new partnership with the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals and professional reservations company ThinkReservations, to make it easier for bed-and-breakfast owners to advertise their rooms on its platform.
He has also said that allowing hotels and bed-and-breakfasts into the Airbnb community isn’t a sign that the company is “going commercial” in the pursuit of a much-rumoured IPO, but is natural evolution.
As of six months ago, approximately 40% of AIHP members already marketed their rooms on Airbnb, which offers smaller operators better value than the bigger OTAs, charging 3% commission as opposed to 15-35% via Expedia or Priceline.
This partnership heralds Airbnb’s more open embrace of professionally-managed accommodations, including bed-and breakfasts, vacation rentals and boutique hotels. This August, Chesky tweeted that Airbnb now has more than 15,000 boutique hotels on its platform.