Airbnb Alternatives in Canada You Should Know About

airbnb alternatives in Canada

By  The Hospitable Team

Airbnb is a popular online marketplace that connects hosts and travelers from all over the world. Many property owners in Canada start on Airbnb to rent out their homes to short-term rental guests and earn extra income.

Although Airbnb dominates the vacation rental market with nearly a 20% share, it’s not the only OTA platform you can use to market your home or apartment. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some Airbnb alternatives in Canada so that you can find options that work for you. 

You may also want to check out our blog post, which discusses taxes you must pay when operating Airbnb in Canada.

Airbnb Alternatives for Hosts in Canada

If you want to build a sustainable STR business, you shouldn’t rely only on Airbnb to showcase your rental space to potential guests and convert them into bookings. You need to consider other online channels to broaden your reach and maximize your occupancy rate.

Managing listings on multiple platforms requires more work and significant time commitment if you do everything manually. That’s why savvy hosts use vacation rental software like Hospitable, which allows them to automate 90% of repetitive tasks, making their business more efficient.

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Now let’s look at Airbnb alternatives in Canada—online booking platforms popular among STR hosts and travelers.

Vrbo

Owned by the Expedia Group, Vrbo has more than 2 million listings in more than 190 countries and attracts millions of visitors every month. This vacation rental booking platform can be an excellent alternative to Airbnb if you want to target large groups of people and families with kids. But remember that, unlike Airbnb, Vrbo focuses on entire properties and doesn’t allow homeowners to list private rooms and shared spaces.

Vrbo offers two pricing models for hosts: pay-per-booking fees or an annual subscription, which costs a one-time flat fee of $499 paid in advance. However, most hosts use the pay-per-booking listing model and pay a booking fee consisting of a 3% payment processing and a 5% commission fee.

Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies in the world and can give you a global reach. In the past, it was known as a platform for hotels and luxury resorts, but now it also allows property owners to list vacation rentals. Booking.com has more than 6.6 million listings for private vacation homes, apartments, cottages, cabins, villas, glamping, boats, farm stays, country houses, self-catering accommodations, and more.

Hosts and property managers who use Booking.com are charged commission fees based on the total booking value. On average, Booking.com host fees are 15%, but they may vary depending on the location, property type, cancellation policy, and more.

You may want to check out our article, which talks about the Booking.com pros and cons for hosts to understand better what to expect if you decide to list your property on this website.

Listing your property on Vrbo and Booking.com, significant players in the vacation rental market, will allow you to increase your visibility, diversify your revenue sources, and potentially get more bookings. But you’ll need to pay hefty fees comparable to Airbnb service fees in Canada.  
You can’t avoid OTA fees entirely, but you can reduce their impact on your bottom line if you create a direct booking website with Hospitable and focus on building relationships with loyal, repeat guests.

Get a direct booking website within minutes!

Our system will ensure your calendars stay synced with OTAs, and your guests get the best experience.

Google Vacation Rentals

Google Vacation Rentals (GVR) is a part of the Google Travel platform that helps travelers search and book flights and accommodations for their trips through the search engine.

Google Vacation Rentals functionality allows users to discover short-term rental properties that meet their preferences when they search for a place to stay on Google or Google Maps. Guests can also browse the Vacation Rentals tab in Google Travel to find the most relevant properties based on the chosen criteria.

Google Vacation Rentals isn’t an OTA, so when travelers want to book a listing, they will be redirected to the partner’s website to complete the booking process and pay. Since Google is a free service, it doesn’t require a commission for bookings made through the GVR platform.

Google Vacation Rentals is an excellent additional distribution channel for short-term rental hosts that will allow you to showcase your home in Canada to many travelers who can become your potential guests. Although you can’t sign up to use the service as an individual host, you can easily get listed with the help of an official partner like Hospitable.

If you build your direct booking website with Hospitable Direct, we’ll list your properties on Google Vacation Rentals, and you’ll be able to get direct bookings without paying high third-party fees.

Expedia

When searching for vacation rentals, Expedia is often not the first website that comes to mind. That’s why many STR hosts often ignore it. Still, listing your home in Canada on Expedia might help you edge out the competition, so you can consider it as a possible alternative to Airbnb. 

Hosts and property owners are charged a commission for each booking made on the Expedia platform. The commission rates range from 15% to 20% or more in some cases. The exact percentage can vary based on different factors, including the location of the property, its size, type, and booking volume. Expedia’s standard commission can also fluctuate, depending on your specific agreement with Expedia.

TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals

With 630 million reviews, TripAdvisor is a reliable source of information for millions of tourists. It boasts 490 million unique visitors to this platform to plan and book their trips every month.

Lots of travelers also use this website to look for accommodations. TripAdvisor has over 800,000 vacation rental properties listed in 190 countries worldwide, so travelers have plenty of options.

Property owners and managers can list different types of properties, including private rooms, condos, cabins, cottages, houseboats, villas, and more. You can publish a listing for your home in Canada for free. After your listing has been activated, it will also appear on TripAdvisor’s network of sites, including FlipKey and Holiday Lettings.

TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals charges the hosts a 3% commission fee, which is deducted from the guest’s payment. Guests also pay a booking fee that ranges from 5% to 20% of the total booking value and is automatically added to the guest’s invoice.

Final Thought

Airbnb is often the OTA platform of choice for people just starting a vacation rental business. Still, it’s far from the only worthwhile option you should consider when listing your property. Plenty of Airbnb alternatives offer hosts in Canada good opportunities to market their rental spaces to a global audience and diversify their revenue streams.

To reach more travelers and attract more guests to your home or apartment, you should list it on major OTA platforms, such as Booking.com and Vrbo. You should also have a beautiful and functional direct booking website to help you build positive relationships with guests and get repeat direct bookings.   

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