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Airbnb has executed its first international integration with Russia accommodations site Ostrovok.ru, which now claims to provide “the biggest choice of accommodation in the world, with 900,000 options.”
That’s the word from Ostrovok CEO Serge Faguet, who adds that “we see the partnership of Ostrovok.ru and Airbnb as a great opportunity to offer our customers the biggest choice of accommodation worldwide to any taste and budget.”
Thus, in one swift move, has Ostrovok toppled Booking.com as the global accommodations leader? After all, Booking.com, which has been reluctant to partner with Airbnb-type companies until the legal issues are sorted out, claims to offer 531,750 properties, including 196,000 vacation rentals, around the world.
To round out the numbers’ game, HomeAway claims to provide more than 1 million vacation rental listings, although some are duplicates. Added to that, Airbnb’s numbers are not verified by any third parties and have declined in major cities like New York and San Francisco.
While it may be literally true that Ostrovok provides 900,000 accommodations’ options, Ostrovok customers who want to book an Airbnb apartment or room can’t do it on Ostrovok.ru, but must contact the host and go through Airbnb to do so.
In fact, Ostrovok notes that of those 900,000 accommodations’ options, it has only 8,000 direct contracts with hotels, and offers more than 300,000 properties worldwide on Ostrovok.ru through relationships with 27 discounters.
So although the Ostrovok-Airbnb tie-in is a great move for both companies, expanding Airbnb’s distribution into Russia and providing Ostrovok’s customers with plenty of more global options than they could view before, the dominant player in online and mobile hotel bookings has not been unseated.
“We’re already seeing significant growth in Russia and the surrounding area and we’re looking forward to creating even more memorable experiences for people as they travel with Airbnb,” says Varsha Rao, Airbnb’s head of global operations.