5 years ago

Booking.com extends vacation rental offering with partner properties, another new battle starts

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…

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Janet

    They are looking to be a place for any budget? so do you think luxury services like exclusive resorts (http://www.exclusiveresorts.com/) would be further moved out? or do you think that remains a niche category and won’t be impacted?

  2. Gecko Villa Thailand

    The fact that Homeaway have discretely started to accept commission based bookings would seem to reflect their desire to compete with booking.com and similar portals.
    From the perspective of the holiday rental owner, it is more encouraging to see a “pay for performance” model instead of a fixed listing price.
    Having said that, the more the travelling public becomes aware of the extent of commissions taken by booking portals, the more likely they may be to seek to book directly with the accommodation owner, perhaps in return for a discount or some attractive, complimentary extras…

  3. Lelievre

    One step ahead of our competitors…which will give us more visibility and traffic through such a online TO.

  4. Matt Owen

    Booking.com has partnered with Kigo Channel Manager.

    Kigo has up to 20,000 of vacation rentals registered within our software, vacation rental agents/property management companies who all keen on distributing their stock across multiple channels: Homeaway, Booking.com, Budget Places, Flipkey, Airbnb, 9-flats.com, Roomorama, Holiday velvet, Rated Apartments, Only apartments to name a few.

    Check us out http://kigo.net/

  5. Jake

    Why wouldnt Priceline just buy HomeAway? They have mor ethan $4B in cash on their balance sheet, which compares to HomeAway’s enterprise value of $1.5B. It would seem like a logical acquisition given 1) Priceline would probably want to have a separate brand for vacation rentals so as not to encroach on hotels – which are their bread and butter, and 2) it’s much easier to buy versus build given how fragmented the supply is in the VR market. Do they really want to market to the millions of individual vacation home owners out there in an effort to build scale? Why not just acquire HomeAwau’s <700k paid listings and their brand recognition as the go to destination for the the deepest inventory of vacation rental properties? And as pointed out above Sharples is on the board of Kayak was Priceline owns and I believe Priceline and HomeAway already work together to provide HomeAway customers with car rentals and other products, which are more or les routed through Priceline. Seems like a logical acquisition for Priceline to make? Agree or disagree?

  6. Simon

    @Bruce: thanks Bruce, it is going to be very interesting to see how it will develop. Homeaway for sure should get stronger in the distribution as well, since they have the brand/marketing power. Do they have the technology? We shall see…..
    We want to have the best inventory and the best quality product and then we need strong distribution partners that can delivery us traffic. Property management is a lot more than just distributing, so leave that to the experts !

    @Pedro: thanks Pedro, a story worth following 😉

  7. Mr Magic Rentals

    Booking.com has been partnering with a large number of both big and small professional vacation rentals providers for some time now – including mine! – so this isn’t the new strategic move the article suggests.

    A key draw-back of booking.com’s model for vacation rental providers is the exceptionally liberal cancellation policy – not necessarily a problem with homogeneous units in a 50+ room hotel, but re-filling a particular vacation rental property can be difficult with 2 days notice and no compensation…

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @Mr Magic

      Thanks for the information, interesting that Booking.com told me that it was only recently that it had started adding some stock from companies like InterHome.

      Oh well.

      Very good point about the cancellation policies, must be a nightmare for VR providers and their owners.

      Maybe its sheer volume of traffic (and B.com’s ability to market properties quickly via the layout of the site and PPC) will help fill distressed inventory such as that?

  8. Bruce Rosard

    Great move by Booking.com and great move for Interhome – congrats Simon! So what does Booking do in the U.S. market? I’m sure there are lots of discussions ongoing in that arena including smaller players like Packlate and major players like Wyndham Vacation Rentals, and all the serious players in-between. Will be interesting to see where this ends up.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May


      thanks for the comment…

      a serious rival to HomeAway?

      Lots of interesting connections, too, with Sharples on the board at Kayak (Priceline’s recent acquisition).

  9. Pedro Colaco

    Congrats to Simon Lehmann @ Interhome for striking this major distribution deal that took a lot of time and effort to complete. Congrats also to booking.com for the courage to try to drive real-time confirmation and bookability into an industry that has relied on contact forms and email exchanges for too long.

    It is going to be interesting to see how HomeAway will react – probably by driving more booking technology into their portals. But could they also try to push their inventory to booking.com? With airbnb.com in the mix, this is going to be a fun space to watch.

    Note to hoteliers: If this works, this means more bookable inventory in all destinations. More inventory more often than not means lower prices…

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May


      Yes, it’ll certainly (if it ramps up significantly beyond 2,500 properties) make the other VR providers think about real-time availability and booking.

      Of course, what could be interesting is whether Booking.com also starts adding Airbnb-esque properties, too.

      There’s no reason why not.

      In fact, Priceline could buy it 😉

      • Ladislav Hatyina

        There is one, B.COM needs professionals/companies on which they can “push” their client focused policy/ways – e.g. billing of transfer costs in case of ovebookings
        With private owners/individuals this would be FAR more difficult… (with some – most of them?!) impossible!

        Aquisition?! Please, no. But might be only my scepticism towards airbnbs concept (apart of indie travel:)
        However I know the results!)


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