The two largest OTAs reported substantial growth last quarter in sales of the alternative accommodations they offer, Expedia via HomeAway and Priceline through listings on Booking.com, which analysts said are becoming increasingly important parts of their portfolios.
Priceline interim CEO Jeffery Boyd and Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi each discussed their company’s alternative accommodation offerings on their most recent earnings calls.
Khosrowshahi said HomeAway’s revenue grew 36% year over year in the second quarter, “and based on current trends, we expect revenue growth to accelerate in the second half of the year.”
He also said HomeAway now has more than a million online-bookable listings and that listings on the site are “growing at 20-plus percent.”
According to Khosrowshahi, HomeAway’s inventory “is going to be fundamental to our product on a long-term basis.”
Meanwhile, Boyd reported that Booking.com has around 493,000 instantly bookable vacation rental properties, a number that grew 39% year over year. He estimated that Booking.com’s 1 million total properties amount to an inventory of about 23.7 million bookable rooms: 16.3 million in traditional hotels and 7.3 million in “homes, apartments, villas and other categories of unique places to stay.”
Huge and growing market
Douglas Quinby, Phocuswright’s vice president of research, called alternative accommodations “a huge and growing market.” In the U.S. in 2015, he said one in three travelers stayed in a private accommodation, up from one in 10 in 2011.
“This is the fastest growth I’ve ever seen in a new industry vertical, with the possible exception of mobile ride-hailing,” Quinby said. “And companies such as HomeAway, Airbnb and Booking.com as well as some property management companies in both the U.S. and Europe have been instrumental in mainstreaming this inventory by making it more easily discoverable, comparable and bookable through their online marketplaces.”