Airbnb is typically associated with homes for rent. The platform connects home hosts or people who list a room, apartment, or houses with travelers that want to rent lodging. But with its recent agreement to acquire HotelTonight, the move adds boutique hotels to Airbnb’s inventory of unique accommodations and helps in addressing the uptick of same-day bookings, which Airbnb notes as growing year over year. Ultimately, the acquisition signals that the brand remains true to its vision—serve every guest.
HotelTonight got its start in 2010 as a niche travel agency. It was online-only, mobile-only, and focused on getting travelers a last-minute hotel deal. That mobile-first strategy eventually paid dividends.
A travel brand’s success often hinges on customer satisfaction, especially in a world where you can leave a review on just about anything. According to YouGov BrandIndex data, HotelTonight customers express some of the highest rates of Satisfaction when compared with customers of other prominent booking agencies.
At its highest, Satisfaction among HotelTonight customers reached a score of +71 in November 2018. That particular score was recorded a month after HotelTonight launched its desktop site, which ended the company’s mobile-only strategy.
What type of hotel guest is Airbnb acquiring?
Airbnb could inherit a distinct group of travelers because of this recent agreement. According to data from YouGov Profiles, those considering booking through HotelTonight are more likely to be Millennials (48% vs. 26% of those in the market for a hotel room), parents of children under the age of 18 (38% vs. 31%), and traveling for both work and leisure (44% vs. 36%) when compared with individuals that say they are in the market for a hotel room over the next year.
That last finding may be a point of interest to Airbnb, especially since those considering the company are traveling strictly for leisure (47% vs. 34% of people considering HotelTonight). This suggests that along with an inventory of boutique hotels, the acquisition brings with it a share of bleisure travelers.
Those considering HotelTonight also hold some distinct consumer preferences. This group is more likely than those who indicate they are in the market for a hotel to say that the hotel should be easy to reach (54% vs. 34%), have leisure activities nearby (41% vs. 27%), and have online reviews (44% vs. 33%). This group is also more flexible in their demands on hotel brands, as they are less likely to be impacted by price and cleanliness when compared to those in the market for a hotel room.
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