Revealed: The Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Sector

New research shows that the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry may not be as acute as originally feared.

The so-called sharing economy has exploded in recent years and has caused major disruption to established sectors. The hotel sector has not been left untouched by this new economy. Ever since the launch of Airbnb, the home-sharing platform, hoteliers have been trying assess the impact of the sharing economy.

New research from STR has good news for concerned hoteliers. The report reviewed the impact of Airbnb on large global hotel operations including IHG, Hilton and Marriott. Whilst Airbnb is disruptive for the sector, it is not actually replacing hotels.

A Different Offer

The key point is that Airbnb has not been found to be in direct competition with hotels on a like-by-like basis. Rather, they offer an entirely different type of experience. Sharing economy consumers are more focused on the hosts, local culture or non-hotel accommodations. Many are motivated purely by price – so would unlikely be in the same market as hotel consumers.

STR found that hotels beat Airbnb in terms of occupancy in every market measured in the study – and the gap was found to be particularly large in London.

Market Share

This does not mean that Airbnb is not stealing market share from hotels – it is. But it is a much smaller share than previously thought.

For the time being the hotel industry and the home-sharing economy remain in different sectors … good news for both industries.


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