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Airbnb is continuing to diversify its product line by acquiring the short-notice booking app HotelTonight, which offers discounted last-minute rooms in regular hotels rather than the private home accommodations that form the bulk of Airbnb’s inventory.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the New York Times reports the acquisition “values HotelTonight in the vicinity of its last private valuation, $465 million.” HotelTonight’s CEO, Sam Shank, will now run Airbnb’s luxury hotel business line, and most of the company’s employees will be joining Airbnb, according to Forbes.

By adding HotelTonight to its offerings, Airbnb said, “We are making it easier for people who use Airbnb to find last-minute places to stay when Home hosts are often already booked.” Although HotelTonight’s inventory includes all types of hotels, most of its bookings are directed not to chain hotels but to unique boutique and independent properties that would be more likely to appeal to Airbnb’s customer base, the company noted.

Airbnb started moving into the boutique hotel space last year, after it broadened its business model to include stays in more kinds of unique hotel properties in addition to the “Home hosts” that have long been its bread and butter. The company said that in 2018, it more than doubled the number of rooms it offered in boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, hostels and resorts.

As a result, Airbnb said, it booked three times as many nights into boutique hotels last year as it did in 2017. And it sees the expansion of boutique hotel availability as a way to attract more customers for its Home host listings. It said that almost 90 percent of customers who first came into Airbnb to book a boutique hotel room then opted for a traditional Airbnb home stay on their second visit to the site.

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Once the acquisition is finalized, the company said, HotelTonight will continue to focus on short-notice bookings. While Airbnb’s traditional business has relied mostly on leisure travelers who book farther in advance, it has seen a doubling of its same-day bookings year over year, especially as it increased its marketing efforts aimed at business travelers. It said more than 400,000 companies now use Airbnb as part of their travel planning.

HotelTonight’s app-based booking engine has rooms in scores of cities in the U.S. and abroad.

From its initial focus on renting rooms in its Home host properties – and it now has more than 6 million worldwide, from treehouses to houseboats to castles — Airbnb has branched out to offer high-end home rentals and bookings of tours and activities at the destination as well as boutique hotel bookings. The company says it is working to create “an end-to-end travel platform” for consumers, and last month it hired Fred Reid, the founding CEO of Virgin America Airlines, as its Global Head of Transportation – although it didn’t say exactly how Airbnb plans to work transportation into its diversifying business model.

“We’re going to explore a broad range of ideas and partnerships that can make transportation better. We haven’t settled on exactly what those will look like,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone.”

Are you an Airbnb or Hotel Tonight regular? Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Chris McGinnis is the founder of TravelSkills.com. The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission. You can reach Chris at chris@travelskills.com or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.