Airbnb is set to enter the luxury rental market

By Catherine Rowell

It has recently been announced that Airbnb has won the acquisition for Montreal-based company Luxury Retreats for an undisclosed figure, beating competitors such as Expedia and Accor. The acquisition will help diversify Airbnb’s services and movement into the luxury rental sector and target base, with wealthy clientele accessing its services.

In a recent press release, Airbnb have stated that “Luxury Retreats offers high-quality listings, world class concierge service and a range of amenities and the acquisition will complement Airbnb’s work to provide a variety of homes and experiences to travelers, particularly those visiting traditional vacation destinations.”

The move will see CEO of Luxury Retreats Joe Poulin join Airbnb and will lead the company’s luxury division. The company will remain in Montreal, as its property listings appear on Airbnb’s website. Luxury Retreats has over 4,000 property listings worldwide to add to Airbnb’s 3 million options in over 60,000 cities, perfect for travel seekers who wish to go to a number of up-market destinations. Poulin said, “Brian’s vision, values and approach mirror what Luxury Retreats has been focused on in the luxury market since 1999.  We are thrilled to join the Airbnb family with a continued commitment of delivering quality, luxury travel experiences.”

With a similar background of building their businesses up from scratch, the merger will provide vital experience and expertise within the holiday rental sector and will secure their position within the market, with plans for future expansion. Long-term planning will diversify their services and invest in talent both in Canada and in the US. It will also encourage further entrepreneurs to build on their growing business models.

“Montreal is known as an innovative city that is looking forward,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. “I’m pleased that a large company like Airbnb has chosen to invest in Montreal by their investment in Luxury Retreats and that its activities will continue to be based here. This proves that Montreal, as a large metropolis, is open to the sharing economy when it is done correctly. Having recently met Brian Chesky and Joe Poulin, I am convinced that they will find in Montreal an ideal place to invest and continue their activities.”

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