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The Difference Between Airbnb and Expedia—What to Know

When someone mentions the company Airbnb, your first thought might involve the horror stories you’ve read about on the internet concerning guests’ unmet expectations. Since Airbnb felt the economic hit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, they’re slowly getting back on track this year with more vaccines rolling in worldwide.

With numerous countries reopening their borders and allowing travel activities to resume and tourists to visit again, people are excited to plan their vacation trips for the second half of the year. If you have an Airbnb listing and want to learn how to promote your Airbnb better, you must remember that people have other choices, such as hotels and lodging found on Expedia!

Expedia is an older company that serves as an Online Travel Agent (OTA) that’s a bit different than what Airbnb has. Even though they belong to a similar market, such as the travel industry, the two big names don’t seem to compete against each other and, in fact, have different factors involved.

Airbnb vs. Expedia—What’s the Difference?

When it comes to Airbnb, the platform serves as a digital marketplace for people looking for cheap accommodation and other alternative lodgings that do not involve staying at a hotel. They also offer different unique experiences, such as tours and various fun activities.

On the other hand, Expedia is also a travel website that leads customers to book their airline tickets, make hotel reservations, and secure their rental cars. But with the numerous updates that the two companies have developed over the years, you may be curious about their history.

A Closer Look at the Background of Airbnb and Expedia

In October 1996, was introduced to the public as part of Microsoft. It serves as an online travel agency that lets people initiate reservations online, including airplane seat bookings, car rentals, and hotel accommodation bookings. Since then, Expedia became the go-to for customers searching for lodging opportunities while traveling for business and leisure purposes.

Meanwhile, come 2008, the online platform Airbnb was introduced. The company showcased short-term accommodations, which later on consisted of rental rooms, homes, and apartments while still belonging to the private market. What’s unique about Airbnb is the special properties they feature, like treehouses and remote islands.

After witnessing the success of Airbnb, they began to offer other people’s houses and apartments without requiring a mediator and, instead, communicating with the property owner directly. Due to the innovative solutions that they continue to provide, more customers began preferring private accommodations over luxurious living in hotels.

Comparing the Traditional Similarities of Airbnb and Expedia

Besides knowing the main differences between Airbnb and Expedia, it will also help to learn about their similarities to let customers decide which platform they need the most. Firstly, the two companies began operating online to make it more convenient for users globally to make travel reservations and handle their accommodations and transportation options.

Moreover, Airbnb and Expedia are travel agents. Since none of them offer products and can make do without a physical location to be considered successful and thriving companies, they focus on creating a market with their target audience online.


It’s hard to deny that Airbnb and Expedia hold great power in the travel industry, with Airbnb primarily focusing on a specific customer base that prefers comfort and style over luxury. If you are a property owner interested in optimizing your Airbnb for your target market, but you don’t know where to start, it will help to reach out to professionals who know the ins and outs of running an Airbnb listing effectively.

Do you want to learn how to get more bookings on Airbnb? guides Airbnb hosts and property owners interested in renting out their homes to curious travelers. If you want to maximize your earnings, get in touch with us today and join our next free training event!

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