Planning your Travel
Most miles and points aficionados love hotel chains so that they can use their points to book stays. However, AirBnB has been gaining in popularity over the years. Travelers with a different set of preferences tend to prefer AirBnB as opposed to staying at a hotel. Given the stiff competition and rapid growth by AirBnB, hotels are now struggling to keep their customers loyal to their brands. A recent report by Travelpulse presents some interesting data about that decision making process.
As per a recent survey by Clever real estate, more than two million people stay in an Airbnb every night. The company is currently valued at $13 Billion. In order to conduct the survey, Clever surveyed 1,000 American travelers who used both Airbnb and a hotel in the past twelve months.
Key Survey Findings
Airbnb is becoming the preferred choice of vacationers — 60% of travelers who use both Airbnb and hotels prefer Airbnb over comparable hotels when going on vacation.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. A lot of people who frequently stay at Airbnbs vouch for the experience and feel that it’s a much better way to soak in the culture and atmosphere of a new destination.
This is probably Airbnb’s the next frontier to conquer. Hotels have large scale corporate contracts and existing relationships. Corporate travelers tend to prefer being in the hotel ecosystem. It will be difficult to acquire a segment of customers which has been used to the entire hotel ecosystem for so many years.
While public sentiment towards Airbnb remains positive, 58% of respondents said they were concerned about hidden cameras, and 7% said they’ve stayed in an Airbnb and discovered a hidden camera
This is a very valid concern. However, I’m not sure whether the concern should only be restricted to Airbnbs since such instances that have happened in hotels as well. Airbnb has also had its own share of other scandals with racism allegations.
24/7 front desk services, on-site fitness centers, room service, complimentary breakfasts, and other amenities keep businesspeople coming back to hotels. Almost half of business travelers said familiarity was an important reason they prefer hotels.
Unless Airbnb develop a similar ecosystem (which is tough to replicate), I’m unsure how they’ll be able to make business travelers switch to Airbnb.
One interesting nugget of data pops out from the report. As per data obtained from the survey, it’s clear that home rental supply is on the rise.
54% of homeowners said they’d consider renting out their homes with Airbnb or a similar vacation rental app, and 82% believe that Airbnb is a good way to make money from their property.
The Pundit’s Mantra
I’ve stayed at Airbnbs and haven’t had any negative experience yet. However, I always prefer staying at major hotel chains so that I can redeem my points. Hilton and Hyatt are generally my preferred hotel chains when I travel.
Also, I’m not inclined to switch my travel preference to Airbnb while traveling for business. I love the efficient operation of a hotel chain while traveling for work and it fits well with my preferences. However, when I travel for leisure, I’m open to either staying at a hotel or an Airbnb. A lot depends on the property location, comparative prices of hotels in that city and my personal travel plans.
Have you stayed at an Airbnb? How has your experience been? Would you consider using Airbnbs while traveling for work? Let us know in the comments section.
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