Travel booking giant Booking.com has claimed that it is giving Airbnb a run for its money when it comes to renting out homes and apartments to vacationers.
Since 2007, 748 million guests have stayed at homes, apartments, or unique listings like yurts and igloos listed on Booking.com, according to its parent company, Booking Holdings. During that same time period, Airbnb says 500 million guests have stayed at one of its listings.
The numbers show heated competition between the long-time travel service Booking.com and its buzzy home rental competitor, Airbnb. Booking, long a big player in hotel reservations, wants the world to know that it’s also a powerhouse in home rentals.
“It is growing faster than our core business, and we’re pleased with that,” said Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel.
Booking’s timing for patting itself on the back about home rentals loosely coincides Airbnb’s expected filing for an initial public offering sometime later this year. A filing would give market watchers a look at Airbnb’s financial performance and let them see how it measures up against rival Booking.
Booking’s history is a bit convoluted. Priceline, a survivor of the first dot-com bust, bought Booking.com, a Europe-focused travel site in 2005. Last year, the combined companies took Booking’s name because Booking, executives explained, had become a bigger part of the overall business. It also happened to put the company in a better position in home and apartment listings compared with its previous incarnation, which hadn’t quite been able to shed its legacy as a purveyor of name-your-price travel.
Last year, Booking Holdings collected $2.8 billion in revenue from home rentals out of $14.5 billion in overall revenue. The company declined to disclose its revenue from that segment the year prior, making it impossible to amount of growth that Fogel referred to.
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