q&a a rivalry for your rooms
Pavel Alpeyev expands on the rivalry between HomeAway and Airbnb:
What’s the history behind the two companies?
While HomeAway is a relative latecomer to Japan, it boasts a longer history overseas than its rival Airbnb. Founded in 2005 and traded publicly since 2011, HomeAway was bought by Expedia for $3.9 billion in 2015. The company’s 2 million properties worldwide attract an older, better-heeled demographic than Airbnb, making it more appealing to prospective hosts, says Natsuko Kimura, manager for HomeAway.
So how similar are they?
The competitors have converged in their business models. HomeAway switched from charging the hosts to list on its site and now takes the same percentage of transactions as its rival. Airbnb has set targets on luxury tourism, airfare aggregation, group payments and guest management.
I hear there is a bit of friendly rivalry between them?
Last year HomeAway ran TV spots in the US poking fun at Airbnb with a title “It’s your vacation, why share it,” illustrating the perils of sharing with obnoxious guests and hosts. The message would also find a receptive audience in Japan, where the culture of politeness can make it difficult for people to relax in somebody else’s home, Ms Kimura said. “Japanese equate home sharing with something young people do when they travel abroad to learn English,” she said. “Our model is the opposite: no host on premises, luxurious home sharing.”