From Tnooz, October 3, 2014
Airbnb’s business model shares little in common with that of hotels. It aggregates inventory and charges booking fees.
The company does not own properties, manage inventory and on-property services and facilities, or even have control of its hosts’ availability calendars as many vacation rental management companies do (although Airbnb has taken some interesting and important approaches to these areas with Instant Book and predictive pricing for hosts).
More apt comparisons would be with online accommodation marketplaces, such as HomeAway, Priceline or Expedia.