After a successful home sharing pilot program in Paris, Rome, London and Lisbon, Marriott International recently announced to the Wall Street Journal and other media sources that it would venture into the home sharing business here in the United States.
As the world’s largest hotel operator with 1.29M rooms around the globe did in its European pilot program, Marriott International will offer their guests a 24-hour support line and in-person check-in via Hostmaker and would allow the guests using their platform to earn and redeem loyalty points just as they would with the company’s subsidiary brands such as W Hotels, Ritz Carleton Hotels and Sheraton Hotels.
Competitors Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Hyatt Hotels are also exploring the home rental industry.
Such interest in the home rental industry from mainstream hotel operators comes at a time when Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO are experiencing increasing opposition, regulations and restrictions to their respective businesses. Angry neighbors, landlords and fair housing groups want clean, quiet neighborhoods as well as long-term housing for “their own” local residents.
Simultaneously, interest in the home rental industry from mainstream hotel operators comes at a time when Airbnb is expanding into the hotel business. Airbnb recently acquired Hotel Tonight, a company that collects bookings from hotels and offers those bookers hotel rates at discounted prices. It recently invested in India’s Oyo Hotels and Homes and recently announced a new partnership with RXR Realty in New York to launch its first hotel that can be booked on Airbnb’s site.
Airbnb’s expansion efforts also include a new hospitality service that will enable its guests to rent work spaces in commercial buildings, according to a recent report from Crains.