Airbnb Marketing Strategy

Airbnb’s marketing strategy focuses on brand positioning, user experience, digital marketing, community engagement, and international expansion. They prioritize creating a unique and personalized travel experience for customers, utilizing digital channels for targeted advertising and influencer collaborations. They foster a sense of community among hosts and guests and expand globally through localization efforts and partnerships. Overall, Airbnb aims to connect travelers with unique accommodations and memorable experiences worldwide.

Marketing StrategyDescriptionExampleImplicationsIntegration
Platform EcosystemAirbnb operates a two-sided platform, connecting hosts (property owners) with guests (travelers), fostering a network effect where more hosts attract more guests and vice versa.Hosts list their properties on Airbnb’s platform, and travelers book accommodations through the platform.– Expands the platform’s reach and offerings. – Creates network effects, making the platform more valuable with more users. – Requires continuous growth efforts to balance supply and demand.Airbnb’s platform integrates various features like property listings, booking, messaging, and reviews, enhancing the user experience and facilitating transactions.
User-Generated ContentAirbnb relies on user-generated content such as property photos, descriptions, and reviews to provide transparency and authenticity to its listings.Hosts upload property photos and descriptions, and guests leave reviews after their stays.– Builds trust among users through authentic content. – Reduces marketing costs as users contribute content. – Requires content moderation and quality control.User-generated content is integrated into Airbnb’s platform, allowing travelers to make informed decisions based on reviews and property details.
Community BuildingAirbnb fosters a sense of belonging and community among hosts and guests through its “Belong Anywhere” branding and initiatives.Airbnb Experiences: Host-led activities and tours that provide unique local experiences to travelers. Host Clubs: Local meetups for hosts to connect and share knowledge.– Enhances user engagement and loyalty. – Differentiates Airbnb from traditional accommodations. – Requires resources for organizing events and activities.Community-building efforts are integrated into the Airbnb platform, encouraging hosts to offer Experiences and engage with travelers while reinforcing the brand’s message of belonging.
Content MarketingAirbnb invests in content marketing to inspire travel, highlight destinations, and showcase unique stays.Airbnb Magazine: A print and digital magazine featuring travel stories and Airbnb properties. Airbnb blog: Articles and travel guides.– Builds brand awareness and storytelling. – Engages potential travelers and hosts. – Requires content creation and distribution resources.Content marketing efforts are integrated into Airbnb’s digital presence, featuring inspirational content that aligns with travel experiences offered on the platform.
Localized MarketingAirbnb tailors its marketing campaigns and content to local markets, considering cultural nuances and regional preferences.Localized advertisements, email campaigns, and social media content that resonate with specific markets.– Increases relevance and appeal in diverse markets. – Shows respect for local cultures and languages. – Requires market research and adaptation of content.Localization efforts are integrated into Airbnb’s marketing strategies, ensuring that content and campaigns are culturally sensitive and engaging for users in different regions.
Partnerships and CollaborationsAirbnb partners with other brands and platforms to expand its reach and offer complementary services to travelers and hosts.Airbnb’s partnership with Disney: Exclusive accommodations and experiences for Disney fans. Airbnb’s integration with Google Maps: Allows users to find Airbnb listings on Google Maps.– Extends Airbnb’s offerings and reach. – Enhances user experience by integrating with popular platforms. – Requires negotiation and coordination with partner companies.Partnerships and collaborations are integrated into the Airbnb platform, offering users additional benefits and services through seamless integration with trusted brands and platforms.
Referral ProgramAirbnb incentivizes users to refer new hosts and guests to the platform by offering travel credits for successful referrals.Users receive travel credits when their referred friends complete a booking as a host or guest.– Encourages user acquisition through word-of-mouth marketing. – Increases user engagement and loyalty. – Can be costly if not managed effectively.Airbnb’s referral program is integrated into its platform, allowing users to refer friends and track referral credits within their accounts.

Airbnb’s Marketing Strategy Highlights:

  • Brand Positioning: Airbnb positions itself as a platform that offers unique and personalized travel experiences, connecting travelers with local hosts.
  • User Experience: The company prioritizes creating a seamless and personalized travel experience for its users, both hosts and guests.
  • Digital Marketing: Airbnb utilizes digital marketing channels for targeted advertising, reaching potential travelers based on their preferences and behaviors.
  • Community Engagement: The brand fosters a sense of community by encouraging interactions between hosts and guests, enhancing the overall travel experience.
  • International Expansion: Airbnb’s strategy includes global expansion efforts, tailoring its offerings to local markets through localization and partnerships.
  • Unique Accommodations: The platform focuses on offering a diverse range of accommodations, from traditional homes to unique stays like treehouses and castles.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Airbnb collaborates with influencers to showcase the unique experiences offered by its hosts, reaching new audiences.
  • Partnerships: The brand partners with organizations and events to promote its platform and enhance its reach.
  • Memorable Experiences: Airbnb aims to connect travelers with memorable experiences and accommodations that go beyond traditional hotels.
  • Local Insights: The brand’s localized approach helps travelers explore destinations from a local perspective, enhancing cultural immersion.

Related Visual Stories To Airbnb

Airbnb Business Model

Airbnb is a platform business model making money by charging guests a service fee between 5% and 15% of the reservation, while the commission from hosts is generally 3%. For instance, on a $100 booking per night set by a host, Airbnb might make as much as $15, split between host and guest fees. 

Why Is It Called Airbnb?

Why Is It Called Airbnb?
Airbnb was initially called Airbedandbreakfast, as the main idea behind the starting of the company was to rent air mattresses in their apartment, as San Francisco filled up due to various conferences, to make some money to pay back the rent. The Aibnb’s founders noticed this as they were designers. And a design conference (IDSA / ICSID) was about to happen in 2007; they launched Airbedandbreakfast as a service offering “Air Bed and Breakfast” to other designers coming to town who could not find available rooms in a hotel. Thus from there, the initial name. Yet, as Airbnb joined the Winter 2009 batch of the popular accelerator, YC, Paul Graham, founder of YC, suggested the founders change the name from Airbedandbreakfast to Airbnb – before demo day – as the name sounded better.

Airbnb Revenue Model

Airbnb is a two-sided marketplace where hosts and guests transact via its booking platform. Thus, Airbnb makes money by charging a fee on top of hosts and guests when a transaction goes through. For instance, in 2022, Airbnb generated $8.4 billion in transaction rate, with an average take rate of 13.3%.

Airbnb Competitors

The Airbnb story began in 2008 when two friends shared their accommodation with three travelers looking for a place to stay. Just over a decade later, it is estimated that the company now accounts for over 20% of the vacation rental industry. As a travel platform, Airbnb competes with other brands like, VRBO, FlipKey, and given its massive amount of traffic from Google. Also, platforms like Google Travel can be considered potential competitors able to cannibalize part of Airbnb’s market.

Airbnb Business Model Economics

As a peer-to-peer platform, once the transaction between host and guest goes through, Airbnb will collect a fee from both key players. For example, from a $100 booking per night set by the host, Airbnb might collect $3 as a hosting fee. While it might increase the price for the guest at $116 ($16 above the price set by the host) to collect its guest fees of $12 and taxes for the remaining amount. In 2022, Airbnb generated $63.2 billion in gross booking value on over 393.7 Million Nights and Experiences Booked, an average revenue per booking of $161, $8.4 in revenue, and an average service fee of 13.3%.

Airbnb Take Rates

Airbnb take rate is the percentage fee that the company gathers from hosts and guests on each booking that happens through the platform. The take rate for Airbnb fluctuated over the years, with a peak in 2020, at a 14.1% take rate and a 13.3% take rate in 2022.

Airbnb Value Per Booking

In 2022, Airbnb generated an average value per booking of $161 compared to $156 in 2021 and $124 in 2020.

Airbnb Financials

Airbnb makes money by collecting a take rate on each transaction on the platform. In 2022, Airbnb processed over $63 billion in gross booking value, which translated into $8.4 billion in revenue. Airbnb also generated $1.9 billion in profits, and $3.4 billion in free cash flow in 2022.

Airbnb Hosts Number

In 2022, Airbnb had 6.6 million active listings, compared to 6 million in 2021, thus a 10% growth year-over-year.

Who Owns Airbnb

Airbnb is primarily owned by its co-founders: Brian Chesky, with 76,407,686 Class B shares, which gives him 29.1% of ownership; Nathan Blecharczyk, with 232,306 Class A and 64,646,713 Class B, which give him 25.3%, and Joe Gebbia, which has 5,113,865 Class A and 58,023,452 Class B, which give him 22.9% ownership.


A storyboard is a linear sequence of illustrations used in animation to develop a broader story. A storyboard process is now used also in business to understand and map customers’ experience and enable the growth of the company using that process.

Airbnb Arbitrage

Airbnb arbitrage is a business model where the renter of a house or apartment sub-lets the property to Airbnb users. This is a model where the Airbnb arbitrageur can transform a long-term rental, with the main property owner, into a short-term rental, with higher rates and margins.

ADU Market

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a term used to describe a secondary house or apartment located on the same plot of land as a larger, primary place of residence. This has become an industry for its own sake, with the potential to become the next trillion-dollar industry.

Samara Business Model

Samara is a manufacturer of prefab accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that can be installed and operational in a matter of hours. It started as an R&D unit of Airbnb in 2016. And it eventually was spun off and run by Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, who now runs it full-time.

OTAs Connected Business Models


Booking Holdings is the company the controls six main brands that comprise,, KAYAK,,, and OpenTable. Over 76% of the company revenues in 2017 came primarily via travel reservations commissions and travel insurance fees. Almost 17% came from merchant fees, and the remaining revenues came from advertising earned via KAYAK. As a distribution strategy, the company spent over $4.5 billion in performance-based and brand advertising. 


Trivago is a search and discovery travel platform part of Expedia Group. Trivago is widely known as a trusted hotel comparison service. Trivago doesn’t charge based on bookings but rather through a cost-per-click (CPC) model, monetized when a hotel searcher clicks one of its advertiser listings. This referral revenue comprises most of Trivago’s income. Trivago also has another minor revenue stream via subscriptions to its Business Studio, a tool that helps hoteliers track impression and click data associated with their properties.

Google (Google Travel)

Born in 1996 as a travel platform of Microsoft, it would be spun off later on. Expedia became among the largest online travel agencies (OTAs) which comprise a set of brands that go from, Vrbo, Orbits, CheapTickets, ebookers, Travelocity, Trivago, and others. The company follows a multi-brand strategy.


Kayak is an online travel agency and search engine founded in 2004 by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English as a Travel Search Company and acquired by Booking Holdings in 2013 for $2.1 billion. The company makes money via an advertising model based on cost per click, cost per acquisition, and advertising placements.


OpenTable is an American online restaurant reservation system founded by Chuck Templeton. During the late 90s, it provided one of the first automated, real-time reservation systems. The company was acquired by Booking Holding back in 2014, for $2.6 billion. Today OpenTable makes money via subscription plans, referral fees, and in-dining with its first restaurant, as an experiment in Miami, Florida.


OYO’s business model is a mixture of platform and brand, where the company started primarily as an aggregator of homes across India, and it quickly moved to other verticals, from leisure to co-working and corporate travel. In a sort of octopus business strategy of expansion to cover the whole spectrum of short-term real estate.


TripAdvisor’s business model matches the demand for people looking for a travel experience with supply from travel partners around the world providing travel accommodations and experiences. When this match is created TripAdvisor collects commission from partners on a CPC and CPM basis. The non-hotel revenue comprises experiences, restaurants, and rentals.


Trivago is a search and discovery travel platform part of Expedia Group. Trivago is widely known as a trusted hotel comparison service. Trivago doesn’t charge based on bookings but rather through a cost-per-click (CPC) model, monetized when a hotel searcher clicks one of its advertiser listings. This referral revenue comprises most of Trivago’s income. Trivago also has another minor revenue stream via subscriptions to its Business Studio, a tool that helps hoteliers track impression and click data associated with their properties.

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