Vrbo (Expedia Group), Hopper, and Booking.com (Booking Holdings) have recently disclosed business and financial data. We’ve collected the most interesting insights for you to save time and better decide on which Airbnb alternatives for hosts you want to grow your business. Airbnb is not the only player in town: Hopper is now the #3 OTA (for flights) in North America and 20% of its sales are international; Booking.com’s short-term rental and alternative accommodation business makes up 30% of the nights they sell and their app is #1 in the world. As for Vrbo, it will soon be adding a loyalty program that will help it retain more guests and attract travelers from other Expedia Group brands.
The one thing that Airbnb does not have: A loyalty program for guests
Booking.com’s Genius program, Hopper’s Carrot Cash, and Vrbo’s upcoming One Key are three loyalty programs these alternative sites to Airbnb are banking on.
Hosts and property managers who want to get more direct bookings know that they also have to compete with the strong loyalty programs of the OTAs.
Yet, Airbnb still does not offer a loyalty program. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, announced the program years ago, but it is still not there. Loyalty programs are good for retaining users, but they also eat up margins (unless you play it like Booking.com, where the loyalty perks are paid for by the hotel and short-term rental operators).
In the meantime, Airbnb’s competitors are improving their programs.
Vrbo (Expedia Group): Stil strong, more integration into Expedia Group’s loyalty program and tech stack in 2023
- Vrbo business broadly remains strong.
- ADRs have held up very strongly and holiday demand is strong and pacing well.
- Vrbo customers to be incorporated in Expedia Group’s multi-brand loyalty program (“verified loyalty program One Key” in Q1 2023
- Vrbo to move on Expedia Group’s common tech stack in early 2023
Hopper claims to be #3 OTA in North America and 20% sales are from international users; Secures $96 million from Capital One,
Hopper is not only growing its short-term rental supply (Hopper Homes), which already counts more than 1.72 million destinations searched and 800,000 vacation rental listings viewed by users. The company wants to become the first travel super app in North America. Hopper sells a mix of travel and fintech products.
Recent Hopper growth data shared by the company:
App Growth: 80M downloads in 12 months, in-app sales up 4-5x
Over the past year, Hopper has become the fastest-growing travel app in the U.S. The Hopper app has nearly 80 million downloads and continues to capture market share in North America.
Sales in the app are up 4-5x year-over-year and holding at that high level and revenue is pacing 25X over 2019.
Flights: #3 largest OTA in North America.
The company’s market share of third-party air travel in the United States has increased to 11.2% (source: MIDT) and Hopper is now the #3 largest OTA in North America.
2022 sales forecast:$4.5 billion in travel and travel fintech
Hopper is on track to sell $4.5 billion in travel and travel fintech this year across flights, hotels, homes and rental cars.
Internationalization: 20% of sales
International users comprised less than 3% of sales last year but now comprise over 20% of sales and the app is quickly internationalizing.
Capital One: Hopper Cloud and $96 million investment
A key to its growth strategy is Hopper Cloud, its partnership and white-labeling solution. Next year, Hopper hopes to sell more through Hopper Cloud than through the Hopper app itself. The American bank Capital One used Hopper Cloud to power its Capital One Travel portal used by its customers to book trips and vacation rentals.
Hopper and Capital One are just business partners. On November 7, Hopper announced that it had secured a $96 million follow-on investment from Capital One. Capital One previously led Hopper’s Series F round in March of 2021.
Booking.com: Q3 2022 was the highest ever in revenue, Alternative accommodations are 30% room nights and growing by 11%, growth increasing since Summer despite tensions, #1 downloaded travel app globally
In 2020 and 2021, Booking lagged behind Airbnb and Vrbo as the travel rebound in the US was stronger than in Europe. While Booking’s stronghold is still Europe, the company has made the US a key priority, alongside the growth of its alternative accommodation business (i.e., everything that is not hotels, from vacation rentals to bed-and-breakfasts, apartments to homestays).
- Booking Holdings’ main brand is Booking.com, but it also owns Priceline, Agoda, and Kayak.
- Q3 2022 was Booking Holdings’ highest-ever in terms of both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA ever
- Growth is speeding up despite international tensions and inflation:
- Customers booked 240 million room nights, 8% higher than in Q3 2019.
- July growth: +4% (compared with 2019)
- August growth: +10%
- September growth: +10%
- October growth: +12%
- Booking.com’s alternative accommodations data (among which are short-term rentals)
- 30% of Booking.com’s total nights in Q3 2022
- Room night growth: +11% versus Q3 2019
- Supply: + 300,000 properties since the end of 2021
- Booking.com is more than just a European website:
- In the US: Room night growth was almost 30% compared with 2019
- Globally, Booking.com is the #1 downloaded OTA app
Airbnb alternatives for hosts, such as Vrbo, Hopper Homes, and Booking Home, should be considered when building a multi-channel booking strategy. While Airbnb constantly hits the headlines with its 2022 Winter Release, new full-price display, or even the #Airbnbust hashtag. Yet, depending on your markets, Booking, Vrbo and/or Hopper are serious sources of bookings that should consider.