Marriott Launches Home-Sharing Service In U.S. To Compete With Airbnb
The worldwide leader in hotel rooms will be launching its home-sharing service, called Homes & Villas by Marriott International, across the U.S., Europe and Latin America as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reports. Marriott could have more than 2,000 rooms in "high-end homes" across 100 markets, according to the WSJ.
Marriott debuted its home-sharing service in a pilot program called Tribute Portfolio Homes in London, Rome, Paris and Lisbon starting last year, in partnership with property management startup Hostmaker. Rooms ranged from $280 to $350 per night, maintained and serviced like a hotel room by Hostmaker. Marriott plans to seek other local partnerships in its new markets.
Marriott's 1.3 million rooms at the end of March were more than any other hotel brand in the world, but that could still be less than 20% of global Airbnb listings — the kind of scale made easier by a model that doesn't depend on development. Though Marriott hopes to reach such lofty heights, doing so will not close the gap with Airbnb.
Homes & Villas accommodations are listed on Airbnb's website and app, in addition to competitors like HomeAway, which has more listings than all hotel chains beside Marriott.
The speed with which it is bringing the concept to market could have something to do with Airbnb's impending initial public offering, which could come as soon as next year, according to the WSJ. Analysts believe that Marriott and other established hotel companies are attempting to shore up positions in the home-sharing arena before Airbnb establishes more dominance with the billions in capital it will likely raise from an IPO.
CORRECTION, MAY 2, 7:15 P.M. ET: A previous version of this article used the name of Marriott's European pilot program in place of Homes & Villas' permanent name. This article has been updated.