One hotel group that is feeling the disruption to its business by the biggest home-sharing business and similar ones, simultaneously announced that it will start a new home-rental business.
Hospitality sector experts said the moves by Marriott and Airbnb show that the hotel and home-sharing industries are converging and that the lines between hotels and "homestays" are blurring according to an article in ChinaDaily.
"I think the trend is both hotel companies adding more home-sharing products and brands, whereas Airbnb and other home rental platforms are becoming more hotel-like," said Makarand Mody, an assistant professor of hospitality marketing in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University.
"So, there's sort of this convergence of business models where both of these sides realized they're in the accommodation space - lodging," he said, adding that whether they provide in the form of someone's home or in the form of more standardized hotel rooms, they are selling the space and experience.
"At the end of the day, they have to think of themselves as distribution platforms," said Mody. "And the way a platform makes money is through volume and through strong networks and partnerships."
One reason for the convergence is the rising demand for home-sharing. The global hotel business is still about $500 billion, or more than three times the size of the home-sharing sector. However, home sharing is growing twice as fast, at about 20 percent a year, according to an industry report.