Home-renting app Airbnb is on the move to get a bigger slice of the market pie. It has announced its plan to buy HotelTonight, a similar website and app that allows users to find and book boutique hotels on short notice.
While they’re both considered booking services, Airbnb and HotelTonight actually have a slightly different target market. Airbnb gives travelers the option to book a traditional, perhaps more comfortable “home” rather than a full-fledged, possibly stricter and more regulated, hotel. Meanwhile, HotelTonight shows discounted rates for ‘on-the-day’ bookings, making it ideal for people who suddenly find themselves needing a hotel room.
Although the deal has already been finalized, that doesn’t mean that Airbnb will immediately be buying out the other service. The plan is to slowly integrate HotelTonight’s listings with AirBnB’s roster, eventually adding more and more ‘professional’ accommodations to its final list and hopefully getting more of the “I need a room ASAP” kind of people. Once that’s over, the current CEO of HotelTonight, Sam Shank, will then be in charge of Airbnb’s boutique hotel segment.
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, is optimistic that all sides will gain something from this merger. It might be important to note that he and Shanks have also been friends for years.
“A big part of building an end-to-end travel platform is serving every guest, whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance,” Chesky said in a press release. “Working with the incredible team at HotelTonight, we will offer guests an unparalleled last-minute travel experience.”