10% of Yanks and Brits choose Airbnb- and Homestay-style lodging, lagging world
It is not a revolution, as some commentators would have the industry believe. But 10% of travellers using a “shared accommodation”-type product is hugely significant.
The number comes from a major study released this week by Phocuswright, which found that one in ten online travellers in the UK and US had rented a shared space in a private home or apartment during 2014.
Perhaps surprisingly, Americans and Brits lag behind many of their counterparts elsewhere around the world.
In fact, the figure actually jumps to 18% for travellers in China and Brazil, with Russia (17%), Australia and Germany (13%) and France (11%) also ahead.
Phocuswright says the “shared space” element of the so-called new breed of accommodation hitting the industry is “often overlooked” at the expense of the attention given to properties rented out in their entirety (20% of travellers are renting those).
Still, some of the findings in the report (produced with Homestay) are useful context behind the general trend where many travellers are moving from traditional accommodation such as hotels to the new private economy in hospitality.
The study (which included a survey with 8,000 travellers and interviews with companies in the sector) found that price drives a lot of the decision-making in the booking process, with a correlation also found between the amount spent on the accommodation and that used for transportation.
Another factor around choice of property was the notion of travellers apparently wanting a “culturally immersive experience”, where they meet and stay with locals and have a supposedly closer encounter with the social fabric of a destination.
The length of stay at a hosted or shared property is significantly longer than the average leisure trip, with academic trips featuring strongly and visits from overseas travellers more likely.
Interestingly the demographic details are noteworthy for possibly breaking the perception that shared accommodation is for the youngsters of the travelling populace.