With Airbnb announcing its foray into the hotel market, it’s an exciting time for online distribution in the hotel space. The much talked about company will now be listing everything from treehouses to full-scale hotels – providing they meet a criteria for unique guest experiences.
This presents a long-awaited and exciting opportunity for hotel properties wanting to broaden their reach and cash-in on the popularity of the sharing-economy.
For the vast array of travellers who trawl Airbnb for alternative accommodation, your property could be the perfect fit.
Why you need a real-time connection to Airbnb
Although B&Bs and boutique hotels have already been using Airbnb for some time, there hasn’t been a solution for them to manage this channel in conjunction with other partners such as online travel agents.
Ideally your hotel will use a channel manager that connects your property management system to Airbnb in exactly the same way it does to the likes of Booking.com. Otherwise the task of managing your inventory through separate means becomes too time consuming and increases the risk of human error, along with double bookings.
Another benefit of connecting to Airbnb is the two-way review system, which allows hotels to offer feedback on guests.
Ideally your hotel will use a channel manager that connects your property management system to Airbnb in exactly the same way it does to the likes of Booking.com
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Who can connect your hotel to Airbnb?
Accompanying the new market announcement, Airbnb also revealed its first technology partner securing its seamless transition into the world of hotels; SiteMinder.
Cameron Houser, program manager for hotels at Airbnb, said:
“We’re building new tools and partnerships to help local businesses thrive. We are dedicated to working with small hospitality businesses that excel at offering the best guest experiences. We couldn’t ask for a better partner than SiteMinder. SiteMinder is the industry leader and we look forward to continuing to work together to support boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts around the world.”
A partnership between Airbnb and SiteMinder means hotels can achieve a real-time connection to Airbnb through SiteMinder’s channel manager, managing this account alongside all their existing channels from the same location.
How do you sync your channel manager to Airbnb?
Existing SiteMinder customers using The Channel Manager or those undergoing a free trial can immediately apply to be listed on Airbnb, who will then decide if the property meets the required criteria. Connecting to Airbnb is as simple as integrating and mapping any other channel. You will have to add your hotel content, such as descriptions and pictures, but much of the information is also pre-filled. If you have an existing Airbnb listing, that profile can simply be transferred across by SiteMinder.
You must have at least one other live channel in addition to Airbnb to be eligible on SiteMinder’s end but once this is done, Airbnb will review your property and create your listing if successful
There’s a clear distinction to be made on who can provide your hotel with Airbnb connection.
Some providers claim they support an Airbnb connection through calendering technologies. These solutions have limitations, the most critical is that they are not real-time connections, which can lead to disappointing guest experiences because of accidental double bookings and forced cancellations.
Airbnb’s announcement truly is an industry-first and for now they have chosen SiteMinder as its first and only hotel technology partner.