Last year Airbnb disrupted the hospitality industry to the tune of $1 billion, according to an iModerate report.
The report found that Airbnb clients skew young and budget-conscious, with a taste for adventure and a craving for local culture, compared to hotel clients who see the hotel itself as a destination. Boutique labels are an effective way to acquire Airbnb users, but consumers often choose based on what they want from the trip.
“The idea of boutique hotels bridging the gap is an interesting one, and while their existence and rise in popularity can’t be solely attributed to the rise in other lodging options such as Airbnb, it’s certainly a part of it as hotels seek to edge out any competition that can steal market share,” said Adam Rossow, chief marketing officer of iModerate.
“These boutique properties often seek to provide a more unique, localized experience (much like an Airbnb) but still give travelers the sense of security and trust they crave,” he said. “However, it doesn’t seem as black and white on which consumers will choose – a hotel or an Airbnb.
“Of course, you have some that are absolute in their choice, but it’s situational for many travelers and their choice revolves around what they want and expect from that particular business trip, vacation, etc.”
Introvert or extrovert?
While hotels appeal to consumers because they offer familiarity and certainty, Airbnb has attracted frequent visitors for the opposite reason. The thrill of not knowing for sure what one will get and the accompanying possibility of unique experiences interests younger travelers.
Women, iModerate found, especially appreciate being in an environment resembling a home rather than a hotel. The chance to be near and live like locals in neighborhoods removed from commercial hotel properties is another draw for Airbnb lodgers, and is something hotels will have difficulty countering.