Something is conspicuously missing from Google’s newly redesigned hotel search platform – which recently added listings from the likes of Expedia and HomeAway to its booking options – and that is Airbnb.
“We’re not there today,” said Airbnb’s APAC regional director Siew Kum Hong recently at the Skift Forum Asia in Singapore, where he discussed the company’s growth in the region.
Siew claims “the totality” of its unique accommodation offerings is “something that is very hard, if not impossible, to offer” anywhere else, and that includes Google’s meta search engine.
“Airbnb has this unrivalled brand power in the industry,” he said, adding that it has captured the public’s imagination since it famously disrupted the hospitality industry 11 years ago.
The company, which is set to launch its IPO sometime this year (though Siew declined to comment exactly when), has been able to build a thriving base of users thanks to its philosophy of treating its users “as members of the community, not as commodities.”