Airbnb, HomeAway watch: Goldman Sachs finds strong adoption

Image of Airbnb office via opengridscheduler/Flickr and Creative Commons

Last month, investment bank Goldman Sachs downgraded the stocks of Priceline Group and TripAdvisor.

One of its explanations was that it is worried that travelers are opting for property-sharing services like Airbnb, Expedia Inc-owned HomeAway, and TripAdvisor-owned FlipKey as peer-to-peer (P2P) alternatives to traditional hotel bookings.

This week, Goldman Sachs’s global equity research team has released the results of a US consumer survey that happens to give credence to that trend forecast.

Do people like peer-to-peer lodging more than traditional hotels?

“If people have stayed in peer-to-peer lodging [defined as including lodging on sites from Airbnb, HomeAway, and FlipKey, among others] in the last five years, the likelihood that they prefer traditional hotels is halved (79% vs. 40%).

“Even people who have used these accommodations for 1-5 nights experience this dramatic shift in preferences.

We find it interesting that people “do a 180” in their preferences once they use P2P lodging. They move directly from preferring traditional hotels to preferring P2P accommodations.

The “no preference” category does not meaningfully gain share.

Once a person has stayed in P2P lodging, their preference is roughly equally split: 40% prefer traditional hotels, 36% prefer P2P lodging, and the remainder have no preference.”

The Goldman Sachs survey measures people’s stated intentions, not actual purchasing decisions. The bank has been conducting surveys of representative groups of 2,000 consumers for more than a decade, and this one follows in that methodology.

A different survey from foreign exchange seller Travelex last week found that only 4% of Americans are considering Airbnb for their next vacation.

Read rest of article at: Tnooz