HostelWorld has launched a new site focused on the B&B segment; however, unlike the parent company, the new site currently isn’t set-up to distribute through travel affiliates.

The new B&B aggregator, BedandBreakfastworld.com, joins the other travel-related brands in Hostelworld’s growing portfolio: hostels.com, boo.com and trav.com.  In the press release announcing the launch of the company, management contends that its new enterprise effectively consolidates “… its position as the global market leader in online reservations for the budget accommodation sector.”  If accurate, that is a rather impressive feat.

Commenting further about the site’s launch in the same press release, BedandBreakfastworld’s Product Manager, Itziar Gonzalez, said “B&Bs and guesthouses have always been a popular option for many people, but they are growing in popularity with the current economic climate. People are turning to a more boutique-style property where prices are low and they receive a more personal touch,” adding that “The website is a one stop shop where people can check price, availability and ratings for B&Bs while getting a good overview of the accommodation with reviews and photos.”

BedandBreakfastworld.com seems to be starting-off with a ‘bang’ – we think.  According to the press release, it opens for business with more than 6,000 Bed and Breakfast and guesthouses in its global database; however, this number doesn’t jive with the information on their website, which states that they offer  ”over 9,000 B&Bs.”

While either number by itself is rather impressive, technology may be a more critical success factor for the fledgling firm.  For example, to enable customers to conduct a quick search by city, coastal and countryside location for any of the B&Bs in their database, BedandBreakfastworld has integrated a Google map function into their site.  Once they’ve drilled-down to the property level at the destination desired, travelers can then check the B&Bs availability for their chosen dates, and complete their booking online. BedandBreakfastworld also supports multiple currencies.

Regardless of the true number of properties in their database, or the extent of their technology, what’s more of an immediate concern from TravelDividends’ perspective is that BedandBreakfastworld lacks a travel affiliate program.

Indeed, parent HostelWorld boasts that it enjoys relationships with over 3,000 distribution partners through its travel affiliate program.  Given that, we assumed that a travel affiliate program would be a key element in the new site’s distribution strategy.  For those of you who are not familiar with HostelWorld’s travel affiliate program, it’s rather generous; they offer a base commission of $3.00 USD for each of the first 149 hostel/hotel/accommodation bookings, with incentives kicking-in at 150 bookings and above.

Perhaps BedandBreakfastworld.com’s lack of a travel affiliate program is merely a temporary vacuum, and they’ll bolt-on a travel affiliate program similar to HostelWorld’s soon.  We certainly hope so, as TravelDividends thinks that the B&B product is a natural for the travel affiliate channel.

What’s your view on the B&B travel segment, and the new player in the market?  Drop us a line and share your thoughts…Many Thanks!

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