Consumer Insights

Once Hotel Guests Go Airbnb, They Don’t Go Back

After several years on the market, it’s safe to say that Airbnb has something of a viable business model on its hands. However, in light of new insights on just how first-time Airbnb guests treat hotels after their stays, it might be time to start administering the hotel industry’s last rites.

Bloomberg reported that Goldman Sachs has begun circulating a note that includes data that will make traditional hotel chains shake in their turned-down boots. According to the company’s research, if a given lodger has stayed in an Airbnb-type property within the last five years, that person is half as likely to book another stay at a corporately owned hotel chain.

“We find it interesting that people ‘do a 180’ in their preferences once they use P2P lodging,” Goldman Sachs analyst Steven Kent explained in the note, via Bloomberg. “They move directly from preferring traditional hotels to preferring P2P accommodations.”

The Goldman Sachs note also indicated that the biggest factor holding Airbnb back from totally dismantling the established hotel industry is simply inertia. Though an average of 11 percent of respondents reported booking through a site like Airbnb in 2015, that figure increased to 16 percent in the final quarter. Name recognition also shot up from 24 percent to 35 percent — and if all it takes is a single stay in an Airbnb property to convert even the most faithful hotel supporter into a dyed-in-the-wool Airbnb advocate, it would seem as if the writing is on the wall for Hilton, Marriott and others.

It also seems as if Airbnb isn’t content to let customers find out about their new way of traveling on their own time. The Verge reported that the morning after Beyonce performed at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, the mega-celebrity posted a picture of herself lounging in the living room of a $10,000 per night Los Altos home complete with the caption, “It was a Super weekend Airbnb.”

And if Airbnb can’t get more exposure by attaching itself to Beyonce, then hotels deserve to win this war.


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