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Airbnb opens platform for hotel distribution Today's News

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Airbnb is to allow hotels and other accommodation providers to list on the site for the first time, through an official third-party distribution network.

SiteMinder will be the platform that acts as a channel manager on a global scale so that its portfolio of properties can be featured alongside existing properties from Airbnb hosts.

The deal is not exclusive, with SiteMinder the first of a number of distribution platforms expected to be given connection rights to Airbnb over time.

The connection will be available from March 1, but SiteMinder has been working with a select number of hotels in different markets around the world to test the service.
Hotels and B&Bs have listed on Airbnb in the past but have done so independently and not through a third-party distribution service.

In a clear indication that Airbnb has online travel agencies (OTA) in its sights, the company says it will charge a service fee for hotels and accommodation providers in the region of 3% to 5%, much lower, it claims, than that of OTAs, which can charge as much as 30%. Airbnb will also not require hosts to sign contracts, and it will manage all payments and transactions.

Airbnb says it will retain a level of quality control over the properties. This means they will have to meet criteria such as unique design characteristics; inclusion of local influences; access to common gathering spaces; and high-quality photography on their content pages. The company also wants to include properties that offer local tours, and use local produce and beverages.

Airbnb is expected to allow chain hotels to participate in the programme but is pushing the ‘unique experience’ angle from those it wants to list on the site.

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