Skift Take

Happy hump day, folks – let's get into it. I was reading this latest report from Skift’s director of research Wouter Geerts: Airbnb vs Vrbo in 20 Charts, and here are a few stats I find interesting.

Happy hump day, folks – let’s get into it. I was reading this latest report from Skift’s director of research Wouter Geerts: Airbnb vs Vrbo in 20 Charts, and here are a few stats I find interesting.

First, Airbnb is much bigger than Vrbo. How much bigger? 6x more listings. We won’t even consider the potential massive drop in listings in New York City. You know why? Because less than a third of listings on Airbnb are located in North America, while the region is half of all listings for Vrbo. Airbnb has been smart to diversify its destinations and rely more on Europe and Asia Pacific.  

On the flipside, while “hobby hosts” provide more exclusive listings to Airbnb, both Vrbo and work extensively with professional property managers that manage larger portfolios, and is seeing its share of instant bookable properties grow. 

But when it all ultimately boils down to the bottom line, Airbnb is dwarfed by two behemoths of the travel industry – Vrbo and Bookings. Vrbo is part of Expedia Group, and’s business extends beyond rentals and benefits from its other brands. The total revenues of Airbnb are considerably lower than those of the other two companies, which possess a much more diversified portfolio. Booking Holdings also outperforms Airbnb in terms of EBITDA margin, indicating that it is a more profitable company.

You can read the report here and let me know your thoughts and comments. 

Airbnb Appoints New Board Member

Airbnb has appointed James Manyika as director and stakeholder committee chair, replacing Angela Ahrendts effective September 7. Manyika’s term will run until Airbnb’s 2026 annual stockholder meeting or until a successor is elected. Ahrendts will remain a member of the stakeholder committee. As a non-employment director,  Manyika will receive annual cash compensation of $50,000 for the board membership and $37,500 under the company’s non-employee director compensation policy.

Altido’s Fire Station Lodging

British property management company ALTIDO has converted the Westminster Fire Station, constructed in 1906 into a short-term rental. ALTIDO, which is a part of the Italian property management company DoveVivo, has secured a 10-year lease for the building. This rent-to-rent agreement marks ALTIDO and DoveVivo’s most significant property acquisition to date, and its flagship property in London.

Sonder’s Belfast Deal

Sonder will operate a new £20 million ($24 million) aparthotel currently under development in Belfast. The property, Beaufort House on Wellington Place, was initially acquired by Banbridge-based Lotus Property in February 2020, the Irish News reported. Lotus Property obtained planning permission earlier this year to transform the office building into a 113-bed establishment, to be named The Well. Sonder’s UK subsidiary will manage the aparthotel which will launch in 2025. 

Venice is Missing Venetians

In a first, Venice’s main island hosts more beds designated for tourist use than it has year-round residents. There are currently  over 49,693 beds available in tourist accommodations, including hotels and private vacation rentals, compared to the city’s 49,304 permanent inhabitants, according to The Guardian. Since the 1950s, Venice’s main island has seen a decline of over 120,000 residents, largely due to the overwhelming influx of tourists who crowd the city’s historic squares, canal bridges, and narrow pathways daily. Last summer, the number of Venetian residents dipped below 50,000. Last week, the Venice city council said it will charge day-trippers a fee of five euros ($5.36) to help manage the flow of tourists into the city.

Phoenix Bans Casitas for Short-Term Rental Use

Remember last week when we talked about Phoenix allowing accessory dwelling units in backyards? Well the city council has banned these units, known as casitas, to be used as short-term rentals.

The city ordinance limits the ADU to no more than 10% of the main house. But this is unlikely to affect the short-term rental market in Phoenix as most of the operators are bigger players such as Evolve and Vacasa — if anything, it prohibits individual homeowners from renting out units to make a side income. 

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Tags: airbnb, sstrr, vrbo

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