Travel search engine Kayak recently announced some major departures from their business model, including a partnership with short term rental operator Lyric.
Lyric, a real estate and hospitality company that rents out unleased units in multifamily buildings, will integrate all 500 of their short term rental properties with Kayak. In return, Kayak will begin promoting a select set of Lyric’s properties in its travel search results, with plans to offer the same service to other hospitality partners, including boutique hotels, in the near future.
Kayak demands that partners meet certain criteria before getting the spotlight, including the hiring of professional management, being positively reviewed and offering hotel-like conveniences that might appeal to urban tourists and business travelers.
This comes on the heels of Thursday’s announcement of Kayak Premium, which will launch on mobile for U.S. users next week, as reported by Skift.
The company’s Premium tier will go beyond team ups with Lyric and other hospitality partners. The mobile app will also feature a tool to let users check in and out of their accommodations, as long as they booked via Kayak. This is a move that brings the metasearch company into guest services.
“Kayak Premium is another step forward as we move beyond price comparison and into the traveler journey,” Steve Hafner, CEO of Kayak, said in a statement given to Hotel Management. “In the future, our app will help personalize and automate the Kayak Premium experience. For accommodations, this means seamless check-in and check-out, saved room preferences, delivery and dining options and amenity selection.”
This move does not mean that the company plans on giving up their duties as an aggregate of accommodation listings, in favor of curation.
“It’s not curation in terms of excluding inventory,” Hafner said during the Skift Short-Term Rental Summit in New York City. “It’s about making sure that we properly badge and promote inventory that we think is a great fit for our users. We’ll be promoting (select inventory) — recommending those travel options to our audience when we think it makes sense.”
Kayak is part of Booking Holdings, which has been competing with Airbnb and Expedia-owned Vrbo to gain share in the online reservation market for short term rentals.