Airbnb is about to expand its product to include thousands of new hotels. So perhaps the company’s next step should be to start paying leisure travel agents commission?

The expansion is a result of Airbnb forging a new partnership with a cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder.

For the first time, SiteMinder will be able to list its huge portfolio of properties alongside existing properties from Airbnb hosts.

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So it’s not the first time hotels or B&Bs have been listed on Airbnb, but IT IS the first time it has been done by a third-party distribution service such as SiteMinder.

As the deal is not exclusive SiteMinder will probably be the first of a number of distribution platforms to be given connection rights to Airbnb over time.

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Airbnb’s Program Manager for Hotels Cameron Houser said small hotels and B&Bs have long used Airbnb and now the company has built new tools and partnerships to help these local businesses thrive.

“We are dedicated to working with small hospitality businesses that excel at offering the best guest experiences and living our mission of belonging and we couldn’t ask for a better partner than SiteMinder.”

Airbnb’s Program Manager for Hotels Cameron Houser.

So maybe their next step will be to reward those who sell accommodation?

SiteMinder has more than 28,000 hotels connected to its channel manager platform and says it anticipates “significant interest” in the opportunity to list on Airbnb from within its customer base.

“We’re excited. The Airbnb story is quite phenomenal and to be a part of that, to have been selected as their first global hotel technology partner, to be able to work together with the Airbnb team on their first real-time connection so they can better support hotel businesses the world over, that’s exciting.”

SiteMinder’s Managing Director Mike Ford.

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Airbnb says it will retain a level of quality control over the properties coming down the distribution pipe from SiteMinder.

This means the properties will have to meet certain criteria such as unique design characteristics, the inclusion of local influences, access to common gathering spaces and high-quality photography on their content pages.

The company also wants to include properties that offer local tours, use local produce and beverages.

READ: Rumour is, Airbnb is planning to ‘own the entire travel experience’ – like a Travel Agent?

READ: Flight Centre Limited partners with the unexpected, Airbnb

Do you think Airbnb will start paying leisure agents commission any time soon?