Test and Learn: BKG shuts down Villas.com
I’ve never understood the role of Villas.com on the BKG ecosystem.
Apparently the guys at PriceLined don’t understand it either.
Read original story here
The Priceline Group-owned accommodation giant says there is no change in its strategy for alternative accommodation such as homes, apartments and villas, but concedes that data has shown its consumers prefer having all their options under one brand.
Villas.com was launched with a fair degree of fanfare in 2014, as part of a bid to capture the growing tide of consumers looking for stays in places other than traditional hotels.
The site started with almost 150,000 properties and was seen as a rearguard action against the likes of rental pioneer HomeAway and property-sharing poster child Airbnb.
Just over 18 months at the launch of Villas.com, Booking.com’s arch rival Expedia bought HomeAway for $3.9 billion.
A Booking.com official says alternative accommodation is a “major part of the business strategy” and it will continue to grow the product on the mothership site, “which is where most of our traffic has been coming and growing”.
Visitors to Villas.com are now automatically redirected over to Booking.com, with the message that all existing bookings are valid and customer profiles for the rental site also accepted on the main accommodation site.
There are currently just short of 550,000 homes and apartments available for rent, Booking.com claims.