Sharing economy accommodation platform Airbnb has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire last-minute hotel booking service HotelTonight.

The purchase will solidify Airbnb’s entrance into the hotel industry – something it has expressed interest in over the past few years.

In February 2018, Airbnb announced a partnership with Siteminder that would allow independent hotels to list rooms on the platform.

HotelTonight’s business model is focused on serving travellers planning last-minute trips with on-demand booking for boutique and independent hotels.

CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky says the acquisition is part of Airbnb’s mission to create “an end-to-end travel platform” that aims to serve every traveller “whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance”.

Airbnb claims to offer more than 6 million properties around the world, and that more than 400,000 businesses are using the platform to manage their travel. It says same-day bookings are growing ‘two times’ year over year.

The company says offering more boutique hotels on its platform will allow it to “make Airbnb for everyone”.

Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight, commented: “We started HotelTonight because we knew people wanted a better way to book an amazing hotel room on demand, and we are excited to join forces with Airbnb to bring this service to guests around the world. Together, HotelTonight and Airbnb can give guests more choices and the world’s best boutique and independent hotels a genuine partner to connect them with those guests.”

Airbnb has strengthened its goal to target corporates in recent years with the introduction of Airbnb for Work and the acquisition of meeting space marketplace Gaest. In 2018, the company claimed that business use of the platform had tripled in the previous year.

airbnb.co.uk