Choice Hotels opens a vacation rental platform to (kind of) compete with Airbnb

Making good on its promise from last month, Choice Hotels confirmed that it will start offering vacation rentals.

Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce had hinted at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit that Choice would enter the sharing economy via partnerships with existing vacation rental management companies.

Today in an earnings call to discuss the fourth quarter of 2015, Joyce confirmed that within a month, three such vacation rental companies have already signed up with Choice — with “a pipeline of a lot of rental companies” behind them.

The shared rentals will be managed via SkyTouch technology, a cloud-based property management system, which Choice has significantly invested in over the past year and will continue to do so in this new capacity.

CORRECTION: March 3, 2016: According to a Choice Hotels representative, the shared rentals will be managed via Maxxton, a software provider for the vacation rentals industry (and not SkyTouch, as we previously reported.)

The tool will allow the rental management companies to “run their entire business in a professional, efficient manner.”

However, unlike shared-home rental giant Airbnb, guests won’t be interacting with Choice directly but rather with the vacation rental companies that Choice has partnered with. (Individual owners are not allowed.)

Guests also won’t be able to rent out spare rooms in the back of a house or the couch in the living room, as according to the website, Choice’s rentals partners will only rent out “entire homes, resort units, condos, apartments, cabins or villas.”

But guests who book through Choice’s vacation rentals site will earn Choice Privileges points. The company — which, incidentally, has more than 6,000 traditional hotels worldwide, is also actively working on a review feature for its rental listings.

Other hotel giants are interested in the sector.

Earlier today, French hotel giant AccorHotels said it had made strategic investments in two holiday rental companies. Hyatt has previously invested millions in OneFineStay, which offers upscale apartments for rent.

The likely reason: Some hotel owners worry that Airbnb poses a long-term, structural threat to their market dynamics.

See Choice’s new vacation rentals platform.

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Juliana Shallcross

About the Writer :: Juliana Shallcross

Juliana Shallcross is a guest contributor. She was previously the managing editor of HotelChatter, VegasChatter, and Jaunted for 10 years. Based in LA, she now writes about hotels for a variety of publications including Condé Nast Traveler and LE Miami. She’s also chronicling cool places to take the kids at TripsandGiggles.



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  1. Mary

    We love Airbnb but on more occasions than at hotel properties we feel the hosts have skipped a few of the supposed inclusions like coffee and at least a light breakfast. Mislead you about their giant not so friendly dog, dirty carpet, additional transportation costs to city ie Metro or Tube is not always a cheap proposition.
    Also with big cleaning fees, state tax and Airbnb fees it can cost more for less than staying at a hotel.

  2. Bas Lemmens

    Good moves! They are welcome to join our platform ! Next wave Vacation Rentals


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