The rise in consumers’ use of accommodation-sharing services like Airbnb is probably no surprise. But even as more consumers use services like HomeAway, Airbnb, and other alternative accommodations, many travel companies continue to write them off as a niche phenomenon.

That denial has faded considerably, though, as the industry’s biggest distribution companies and online travel agencies aggressively acquire and sell alternative accommodation inventory.

Earlier this week, Priceline’s new CEO Glenn Fogel told analysts that the company planned to “expand aggressively” by offering more alternative accommodation. Meanwhile, Rolf Schrömgens, the CEO of Trivago, said that hotel and alternative accommodation inventory are likely to converge, as the distinction between the two becomes superficial.

These trends come on top of ongoing moves by online travel agency brands like Expedia and Booking.com to continue adding more alternative accommodations to their booking systems.

The growing supply of such accommodation on online travel agencies and corporate booking platforms will likely make the product more commonplace, including for business travelers who have overlooked it so far. Read on for more analysis, plus the rest of this week’s top marketing stories.

Priceline Group Plans Aggressive Expansion of Alternative Accommodations
Priceline’s executives plan to dramatically expand the company’s inventory in the alternative accommodations space. Newly-installed CEO Glenn Fogel mentioned the plans during the company’s quarterly analyst call this past Monday. Read more

Trivago CEO Thinks Airbnb and Hotels Will Eventually Converge
Trivago CEO Rolf Schrömgens recently sat down for a wide-ranging podcast interview covering topics such as his company’s position in the European marketplace, the evolution of travel booking, and his predictions for the future of alternative accommodations. Read more

Tracking the Growth of China’s Alternative Accommodations Sector
Short-term and whole-home vacation rentals aren’t just big business in the United States. They are also becoming a big deal in China, where a growing acceptance of rentals is helping boost revenues for Airbnb and homegrown Chinese apartment-sharing firms. Read more

Who Are the Most Innovative Companies in the Travel Industry?
Defining which companies are most “innovative” can be difficult. The types of initiatives and strategies that might seem forward-thinking to one travel industry firm may ring hollow for another. That said, this roundup of 2017’s “most innovative” companies offers an intriguing list of some of the firms making waves in the industry today. Read more

Holland America Partners with Oprah on New Celebrity Cruise
Celebrity-themed cruises are not a new phenomenon. There’s been a Harry Potter cruise, a party cruise hosted by New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski, and a ship-based event to the Bahamas with pop star Pitbull. But the recent announcement of a cruise partnership featuring media superstar Oprah seems likely to bring the celebrity cruise trend to the next level. Read more.

 

Photo Credit: Alternative accommodation is moving from a niche segment into the travel mainstream, as distribution and supply increases. Selamat Made / Flickr