Google announced this week that wanderlusters can now book vacation rentals on the Google Hotels platform. Already one of the top players in the online travel agency and metasearch realm, the search giant just blurred the line even more between hotels and rentals.
However, Booking.com has already been making hotel listings and rentals battle it out.
On Booking.com, hotel brands tracked by Gartner L2 see just 44% visibility for above-the-fold listings across 30 cities, versus 81% visibility on Google Hotels, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury Hotels. This means luxury brands have to compete harder for top listing positions on Booking.com, as they’re not only competing against other organic hotel listings, but also organic rental listings.
Booking.com incorporates rental listings directly into listing results, not requiring travelers to add a filter for rentals like other platforms. During Gartner L2’s study period, researchers observed 13% of above-the-fold listings comprised of Apartment Rentals and Home Rentals, while the remaining 42% were hotels not included in the study, making Booking.com a competitive battlefield for luxury brands.