Kayak has agreed to add HomeAway’s vacation rental listings in the latest sign that the sharing economy is reshaping the booking-site universe.
It’s also a curious twist since Kayak’s sister company Booking.com, which competes with HomeAway, has been making a big push in vacation rentals. However, Booking.com is under-represented in properties from individual owners, which is a HomeAway strength.
Kayak already displays a limited number of vacation rental listings from sister sites Booking.com and Priceline.com although HomeAway’s properties, many from individual owners, would give Kayak users additional choice. The Kayak-HomeAway partnership could be a nice test for Kayak parent the Priceline Group to see if it wants to cozy up in some form with HomeAway, including an acquisition.
HomeAway and Kayak stated that by the end of 2015 Kayak will display nearly 200,000 listings from individual owners and property managers that have contracted with HomeAway.
“The integration will be very tight but you have to wait until the third quarter to see it,” says Kayak CEO Steve Hafner. “Yes, we have Booking.com inventory too. We are committed to a comprehensive selection of rooms.”
HomeAway’s stock price was up more than 7 percent by mid-day June 1 in New York, and that was presumably on the Kayak news.
“This would be the first official partnership between Priceline and HomeAway,” writes Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson. “Outside of the distribution benefits of more visibility, this shows Priceline’s eagerness to gain exposure to the individually-owned vacation rental property. We believe this is an encouraging sign as it validates the unique and valuable content HomeAway has, while it also indicates that Priceline may more aggressively expand its relationship with HomeAway, which could include an expanded partnership or potentially even an acquisition.”
HomeAway has been looking to bolster its distribution on third-party sites and announced a partnership to do so with Expedia.com in late 2013 but Expedia’s priorities lie elsewhere and it hasn’t done much with the partnership. The Kayak partnership is HomeAway’s second big distribution relationship.
HomeAway has had an affiliate relationship with metasearch site Hipmunk for several years. A HomeAway spokesperson says its Kayak partnership will involve a deeper integration and better user experience although details have yet to be worked out.