On Monday, Tnooz reported that Booking.com, the online travel agency giant owned by Priceline Group, has begun listing homestays. The company has since revealed to us more details about the program.
The homestay inventory is just a slice of a larger trend, the company notes. Booking.com recognized travelers’ demand for non-hotel properties long ago and has been expanding its offerings in this space, writ large, for some time now.
In fact, approximately 70% of Booking.com's 690,000 properties worldwide are non-hotel properties.
That said, accommodations labed "homestay" don’t come from Booking’s traditional vacation rental inventory, such as "apartment" or "villa."
Booking.com assigns a single "accommodation type" for each property on the site. A place labeled as an apartment is only labeled as that, and not also as a villa or a guesthouse.
Each of its categories caries a specific set of criteria to match against a property.
It has about 5,000 homestays today. To count as a "homestay", a place must be A) a private house, B) "have breakfast often served", and C) the host or family and the guests must be in the same building and share facilities.
Booking.com says that its local teams work with the property at the time of registration to ensure they’re listing on our site accurately and as desired.
Those interested in becoming an affiliate partner may get started directly from its website by clicking the ‘become an affiliate’ link.
On this page, individuals will learn about its affiliate partner program. There's an explanation of various implementation options, an FAQ and, of course, they can register to be a Booking.com affiliate partner.
The suppliers, that is -- the property owners -- control pricing 100% of the time. Payments are made on monthly.
MORE: Silently debuting homestays, Booking.com jabs Airbnb