Booking.com in the Czech Republic has decided to increase competition with Airbnb and other companies offering cheap accommodation in private homes. According to real estate professionals, the competition between such companies will continue to increase. The government is considering regulations on Airbnb and companies offering similar services.

Booking.com has been serving as the intermediary for hotel accommodations. The company recently launched a campaign in Prague targeting apartment owners, convincing them to rent their property to tourists and short-term visitors.

“The goal of our campaign is to encourage owners of apartments and houses to register and post their offers. We believe that Prague market has a high potential in this regard,” says Kristofer Barber, spokesperson for Booking.com.

Booking will start concurring Airbnb, which so far has a monopoly on short-term rentals in the Czech Republic, as well as other European countries. While Booking.com is currently offering a few hundred private apartments for rental, Airbnb has more than 16,000 in its database.

The trend of short-term rentals is quickly spreading across the Czech Republic. A rental for a few days is a highly attractive offer to homeowners, as it yields higher profits than long-term rentals. Thanks to cheap mortgages in the Czech Republic, more people are buying apartments as an investment to rent out in the future. According to property developers, every fourth apartment sold is used for such purposes. Many companies have emerged on the market with a similar purpose. In Brno, the company Flatio offers semi-long term rentals, ranging from several weeks to months.