The onliners (newly introduced KO term for online booking sites) have waged war against each other in the hopes of winning more accommodation bookings from the travelling public.

What does it mean when Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com are battling it out?

There’s a whole lot of traditional Travel Agents out there picking at a bowl of popcorn right now, eagerly waiting for updates from the battleground…

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So this is what’s going on:

Airbnb wrote an open letter last week to ‘Boutique Hotel and B&B owners’ in which it makes reference to high fees charged by online agents such as Expedia and Booking.com.

The once peer-to-peer booking app said it has received several complaints from small business owners who say the 30 percent-or-so fees on these two websites were “too high” and they need a better solution.

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“We’ve heard from you directly and through our work with the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals and we’ve conducted our own research,” Airbnb said. “Time and again, small business owners told us that the fees charged by travel agents like Expedia and Booking — which can be as high as 30 percent — are too high.”

That’s where Airbnb believes it can help.

The app said that in 2018 it will take on these onliners by expanding its platform to include more professional hospitality providers.

Although Airbnb already has a select number of hotels in its listings, it’s hoping to build on them by including more hosts “who provide personal hospitality to guests and things like locally relevent or unique amenities and local maps with personalised recommendations”.

“We want Airbnb to be for everyone, including professional hospitality providers that offer unique spaces and personal hospitality to the Airbnb community.”

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The company continued, telling the accommodation industry that it provides resources that allow businesses to distinguish their rooms from others, no long-term contracts that provide hoteliers with more control, and lower fees “compared to online travel agencies”.

KARRYON has contacted Expedia for a response.

Meanwhile, according to Airbnb, there are now over 300 million guests arriving in listings around the world. Airbnb is hoping to grow this figure to one billion per year by 2028.

Guests range across various markets, but the peer-to-peer site said millennials are among the biggest users as they rely on the app during the travel planning process.

READ: Is this peer-to-peer site seriously considering starting an airline?

READ: Hospitality app to expand its list of hotels on offer

What are your thoughts on the open letter?