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Marriott punches back at AirBNB with entry into home rentals

When AirBnB was founded in 2008, the first market it attacked was the hotel industry. Now, it appears the industry is punching back.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Marriott (MAR) International Inc. — the owner of Sheraton, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton Brands — is entering the home-rental business, the first of the major hotel companies to do so. The venture positions Marriott against a notorious foe of the hotel industry — home-sharing companies, such as AirBnB, that have successfully infiltrated and undermined the hotel world for over a decade.

Booking Holdings (BKNG) CEO Glenn Fogel, whose company operates as the parent of sites like Booking.com, spoke to Yahoo Finance about Marriott’s segue into the home-rental business.

“It’s not surprising,” Fogel said. “We’ve always had hotels and homes on our search pages. When a customer comes to us, they want to stay somewhere; we’ve always provided them the choice.”

Amsterdam, Netherlands - December 13, 2017: Entrance of Marriott Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

But the choices are increasingly in AirBnB’s favor: data from AirDNA shows the home-sharing platform now lists nearly five million rooms as of Q1 2019 — practically four million more than Marriott hotels.

AirBnb is prepared to file to go public within the year, CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC, offering the hotel industry little time to act aggressively and diversify its businesses.

Olivia Balsamo is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @BalsamoOlivia.

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