It shouldn’t come as a surprise to observers of¬†Booking.com¬†(and the quest for global domination) as it now looks to be increasing its coverage of vacation rental properties.
After small and tentative steps until now, Booking.com has struck a deal with vacation rental service InterHome¬†to pull in properties to the global platform for consumers to search and secure.
InterHome is currently providing around 2,500 properties around the world, a fraction of its global portfolio of 32,000.
In some respects the Priceline-owned brand is simply extending its existing service (visitors to the site have been able to book bungalows and cottages “for many years”, an official says), but an agreement with a dedicated supplier such as InterHome is an interesting and strategic move.
The Booking.com official adds:
“Our goal is to be the place on the Internet where travelers can find the right place to stay at whatever budget or for whatever need no matter where they come from or where they wish to travel.”
InterHome is currently the only supplier of properties on Booking.com but if there is demand then “we will look to supply them in the best possible way”, perhaps paving the way for multiple sources of content.
Booking.com says the addition of vacation rental properties is currently in places where it sees demand for this type of accommodation, rather than suddenly flooding the database with tens of thousands of properties in similar locations to where it has hundreds of hotel properties (and, presumably, long-standing contracts).
The current number of bookable properties of any type on the system is now at over 260,000 worldwide.
The expansion of vacation rentals on the site begins a process of putting Booking.com – and its clearly successful and aggressive marketing and contracting model for hotels – into the same sector as the likes of HomeAway, and TripAdvisor to a lesser degree.
The difference at this stage is that Booking.com is going down the partner route through the likes of InterHome, rather than contracting directly with individual property owners.
Changing such a strategy would mean the launch of a painstaking process to secure and contract every single owner and a switch to its own or development of an entirely new system.
But, as many have witnessed over the years, Priceline does have a fondness for acquisitions when it comes to getting the job done…