By The Hospitable Team
Offering more than 28 million accommodation listings worldwide, Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies that connects property owners to travelers looking for a place to stay during their trips.
Originally, it was a platform for hotel rooms, but it has expanded to include a wide range of accommodations, such as vacation homes, apartments, guest houses, cabins, cottages, villas, glamping, boats, and more.
Booking.com has a global reach and attracts both leisure and business travelers, so if you’re not there, you could be missing out on potential revenue. Read on to learn more about the Booking.com pros and cons for hosts and how you could use this platform for your business.
Booking.com Pros and Cons
If you own an Airbnb or Vrbo property and are looking for ways to expand your reach and increase your revenue, Booking.com seems to be one of the most obvious choices. As one of the world’s biggest OTAs, the platform has millions of daily visitors, so you can show off your vacation rental to a massive audience from all over the globe.
Using a multi-channel strategy, you’ll be able to get more bookings and make more money. And although managing your vacation rental if you list it on many different sites can be challenging and time-consuming, you can lighten your workload using technology to improve your operations.
If you opt for all-in-one vacation rental management software like Hospitable, it can run your daily tasks on autopilot. Hospitable’s automation capabilities will save you a lot of time and allow you to create the life you’ve always imagined.
Many STR host use our tool because it allows them to manage their vacation rentals remotely. For example, Taylor Adams relies on Hospitable to streamline business operations and enjoy a work-optional lifestyle.
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Still uncertain whether you should list your vacation home on Booking.com? To help you make an informed decision, here are some Booking.com pros and cons you should consider.
Pros of using Booking.com for hosts
There are many advantages of listing on Booking.com, so it’s no wonder that more and more hosts and property owners use this platform.
Global reach. Booking.com operates in more than 220 countries, and its website and app are available in 43 languages. It has a massive global audience and can be a good option for hosts looking to diversify their customer base.
Wide range of properties. Although traditionally, Booking.com has always been a website for hotels and resorts, everything has changed in recent years. It has more than 6.6 million listings for private homes, apartments, and other unique accommodations.
Support when you need it. Both property owners and guests can enjoy round-the-clock support via phone, email, or online chat. There is also a special platform for property owners (Partner Help) where you can find answers to FAQs, detailed manuals, and step-by-step guides.
Innovative features and tools. All hosts have access to the Booking.com Extranet. It’s an administrative dashboard where you can manage your listings, use Booking.com messaging tools to communicate with guests, and track payments. You can also download the Pulse app. It’s an extension of the Extranet that allows you to manage your listings on the go—receive booking notifications, check your calendar, respond to guest messages, etc., on a mobile device.
There are also paid tools that can help you increase your revenue, for example, Visibility Booster. It improves the visibility of your listing and helps it rank higher on the platform’s search results.
Marketing. Your vacation rental property will be promoted on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and online maps. Booking.com will also promote your property to travelers planning trips through their 17,500+ affiliate partners. Besides, the company partners with airlines to promote your property to their customers.
Cons of using Booking.com for hosts
There are also some downsides to listing your short-term rental on Booking.com.
High commission fees. Booking.com charges hosts a commission fee based on the total booking value. On average, it takes 15% off of the top of your charged price for all confirmed bookings and all non-refundable reservations. But, according to many property owners, the Booking.com host fees can range between 10% to 25%.
You can avoid paying high OTA fees if you build your website and start accepting direct bookings. And the best thing is that you can do it yourself even if you don’t have any technical skills. With Hospitable, you can create a fully functional direct booking website using professional, easy-to-customize website templates.
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Limited insurance protection for hosts. Booking.com offers only the Partner Liability Insurance program for home-like properties. The Partner Liability Insurance provides owners and property managers with US$1,000,000 in primary liability coverage for all stays booked through the platform at no additional cost to you. The program protects against third-party lawsuits or liability claims for bodily injury or property damage. But there’s no insurance protection if a guest damages your property or belongings.
Instant book. All bookings on Booking.com are instant, meaning they are confirmed automatically, and there is no functionality to make them optional. Although it’s very convenient for guests, it’s not as pleasant for hosts with limited booking control. You might get last-minute reservations, and coordinating your cleaning or maintenance team just hours before the new guests arrive can be very stressful.
Booking.com is one of the biggest OTAs, so you should consider it when choosing your vacation rental property distribution channels. It’s a great choice if you want to attract international travelers. But you should be strategic about your decision and weigh the Booking.com pros and cons to determine whether it’s the right listing site for your business.
You may also want to check out our blog post about the Booking.com cancellation policy to better understand how cancellations work on this platform and how to handle them as a host.
Although guests often plan their trips in advance, travel plans can change, and they may have to cancel their bookings. So how does Booking.com handle cancellations and refunds? Keep reading to learn about the Booking.com refund policy.
Not sure which OTA platform to choose to list your vacation rental home—Airbnb or Booking.com? Both platforms are popular among travelers and have millions of daily visits, so it’s better to take a closer look at both. Check this post for an in-depth comparison!
Today, Booking.com is one of the largest accommodation booking platforms, with more than 28 million listings in 226 countries and territories across the globe. Planning to become the part of this crowd? Our guide will get you started.