You wouldn’t blame Olivier Grémillon, vice president of the home division, for celebrating just a little bit this week – after all, the group has just disclosed the revenue of the alternative accommodation business for the first time, and the results are stellar.
In a year since Gremillon joined the company from Airbnb where he spent the last five years, the division recorded $2.8 billion in revenue in 2018, representing 20% of overall revenue for the year, growing faster than the company’s consolidated growth rate. It also reached the milestone of over $1 billion in revenues in Q3 2018 alone.
He’s not taking all the credit of course. “A lot of the work had already been done by the time I joined the company. There were already a lot of listings and revenues, it’s just that people didn’t realise it because it wasn’t necessarily consolidated,” he said.
A little bit of history – the company launched Villas.com in May 2014 as a testing ground for what the company called alternative accommodation (homes, apartments, villas, and other unique places to stay). In late 2016, its shut down Villas.com and transitioned its alternative accommodations inventory onto the Booking.com platform.
Since then, inventory growth has exploded, the fact that Booking.com does not charge a traveller fee has obviously helped. It ended the year with 5.7 million reported listings, up 18% year-over-year, which it said is more than any other player in the homes/apartments space.
The company also disclosed that 40% of Booking.com’s active customer base booked an alternative accommodation property at some point within the past 12 months, reiterating consumer appetite for everything from hotels to homes on one platform.
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