It looks like Airbnb might finally have a real competitor in the homesharing space. Marriott, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, is launching Homes & Villas by Marriott International next week after a successful pilot of 200 homes in London last year. Marriott is collaborating with a variety of different property management companies and plans to offer homesharing services in over 100 different markets all over the world. Much like Airbnb, Marriott plans to act as an online distribution platform for its available homes.
Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott’s Global Chief Commercial Officer, explained that property management companies will pay Marriott a platform fee, and will be tasked with managing the properties themselves. “The best way I can think about it,” she said, “is to compare it to how Marriott manages hotels. That’s what these property management companies will do for these homes.”
Importantly, Homes & Villas will not be exclusive, meaning property partners can also continue to advertise and distribute homes on Airbnb, HomeAway, and Booking.com. Customers can, however, redeem Marriott Bonvoy points when they book via Homes & Villas, which is expected to be a key point of attraction. The earn rate for Homes & Villas points will be the same as what Marriott offers for its long-stay hotels — five points for each $1 spent. Guests can also use their points toward special tours and activities in the area.
While Marriot claims it’s not trying to replace Airbnb, Linnartz says, “Our goal is to be the world’s favorite travel company, offering a comprehensive travel platform through Marriott Bonvoy.”