The big hotel chains may not yet mention Airbnb in their SEC filings, but you can be certain they are aware of Airbnb's growth and funding, and likely are lobbying for authorities to clamp down on the peer-to-peer sector.
In the eyes of certain venture capitalists, Airbnb deserves a $10 billion valuation, higher than the market caps of every major hotel chain, but only four companies — and no major chains — even mention Airbnb in their latest annual 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Diamond Resorts, which is in the timeshare business, indeed cites Airbnb as a competitor, and Diamond Resorts is the only hospitality company to do so in their annual financial statement.
And, Orbitz Worldwide, TripAdvisor and HomeAway round out the list of four public companies that specifically call out Airbnb as a rival.
Wyndham Worldwide, which has 103,000 vacation rentals in Europe and the U.S., doesn’t mention Airbnb or HomeAway as a competitor, and neither do Hilton Worldwide and Choice Hotels. In fact, these three chains don’t name any specific compeitors in their filings, nor do they mention the sharing economy.
Expedia Inc., which has a fledgling partnership with HomeAway, doesn’t cite Airbnb or HomeAway as a competitor in its filings. Neither does Priceline even though its Booking.com unit has nearly 120,000 vacation rentals in the fold.
Here’s what the quartet has to say about competition and Airbnb:
“We also will continue to face competition from new channels of distribution in the travel industry. Additional sources of competition could include “daily deal” websites, such as Groupon Getaways, or peer-to-peer inventory sources, such as AirBnB. AirBnB and similar websites facilitate the short-term rental of homes and apartments from owners, thereby providing an alternative to hotel rooms. The growth of peer-to-peer inventory sources could affect the demand for our services in facilitating reservations at hotels.”
“We face competition for users, advertisers and travel reviews. Our primary competitors include large online portals, social networking sites and search engines, such as Google, Microsoft’s Bing (including Bing Travel), Yahoo! (including Yahoo! Travel) and Baidu. We face competition from online travel agencies (such as Expedia and Priceline and their respective subsidiaries), as well as wholesalers, tour operators and traditional offline travel agencies. We also compete with a wide range of other companies, including Airbnb, Inc., Ctrip.com International, Ltd., HolidayCheck AG, HomeAway, Inc., and Yelp, Inc.”
“For our vacation rental business, we also face competition from several companies, including HomeAway and Airbnb, some of whom have a larger inventory of rooms available than we do.”
“Our principal competitors include: other vacation and short-term rental listing websites, such as TripAdvisor.com and Airbnb.com; websites that list both rooms to rent as well as vacation rentals, such as Airbnb.com, Wimdu.com and HouseTrip.com…”
“There are thousands of vacation rental listing websites in the United States and Europe that compete directly with us for listings, travelers, or both, such as HouseTrips.com, Booking.com, Airbnb, @Leisure, InterHome, James Villas, TripAdvisor and Wyndham Worldwide. Many of these competitors offer free or heavily discounted listings or focus on a particular geographic location or a specific type of rental property. Some of them also aggregate property listings obtained through various sources, including the websites of property managers some of whom also market their properties on our websites.
“Some websites operated by competitors address the wider fragmented travel lodging market, such as Airbnb (worldwide) and Wimdu (worldwide), by listing both rooms or the owner’s primary home for short term rental. The properties offered by these individuals increase both the number of rental opportunities available to travelers and the competition for the attention of the traveler which could affect the number of people who use our websites. Some vacation rental property owners also list on these websites, and consequently these companies compete with us to some extent today and could become more significant competitors in the future.”
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Photo credit: Big hotel chains aren't yet devoting any space to Airbnb in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Pictured is an Airbnb rental in Montreal. Jennifer Yin / Flickr.com