AP report: Marriott to expand further into home-sharing

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AP report: Marriott to expand further into home-sharingThe world’s largest hotel company will soon start taking reservations through its website for 2,000 homes in 100 markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America

Marriott is pushing more heavily into home-sharing, confident that its combination of luxury properties and loyalty points can lure travelers away from rivals like Airbnb, AP reports.

The world’s largest hotel company will soon start taking reservations through its website for 2,000 homes in 100 markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. It plans to expand its Homes and Villas program to other locations.

On the other hand, Airbnb is encroaching further into hotels. On Monday, the San Francisco-based company said it’s working with a New York real estate developer to establish a hotel with 200 suites in Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. Airbnb, which plans to go public but hasn’t made clear when, also acquired Hotel Tonight, a last-minute booking service, in March.

Marriott is targeting families and groups, and the homes skew toward luxury, with prices ranging from $200 per night for a one-bedroom apartment to $10,000 for a full Scottish castle. Almost 40 of the markets are in places where Marriott doesn’t currently have hotels, like Bar Harbor, Maine and Bordeaux, France.

Marriott is a long way from matching home-sharing behemoths like Airbnb, which boasts 6 million listings globally, or Booking.com, which has listings in 220 countries. The homes in its program aren’t even exclusive Marriott properties. Marriott is partnering with rental management companies to handle the maintenance and cleaning.

Nevertheless, Marriott believes it has advantages. Unlike its home-sharing rivals, it has a loyalty program that lets travelers earn and use points on its hotels and homes. Business travelers can accumulate points at Courtyard hotels, for example, and use them for a week at a beach house. Airbnb is working on a loyalty program of its own, but the rollout has been delayed.

It says it also guarantees hotel-like standards that are often missing in home-sharing, such as Wi-Fi, crisp white sheets, bath amenities, baby cribs and smoke alarms. Airbnb has tried to tackle that problem with user reviews and its Plus program, which highlights rentals that meet higher quality standards. But the sheer volume of properties makes it difficult to police them all.

 Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Unknown

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