Lead: According to a study conducted by LendEDU, 37% of millennials prefer the cheaper option Airbnb offers, compared to 35% who still prefers the traditional hotel — An industry that has remained unrivalled for decades.Airbnb’s short-stay rental marketplace has been a challenge for the traditional hotel industry. In a time where technology is quickly advancing, Airbnb has successfully created and nurtured a community around them, with millennials being their most frequent users — But what do millennials prefer when looking for accommodations and planning their next trip? According to a study by LendEDU, only 26% of millennials stated that they have stayed at an Airbnb, a number whose expected to grow as people become more familiar with their service. In another study by the same company; 37% of millennials said that they prefer the cheaper option that Airbnb offers, compared to 35% who believe that the extra added cost of hotels is worth the money. These numbers might not seem as impressive at first glance, but for an industry that has remained unrivalled for many years, Airbnb has proven to be an increasing threat to the hotel industry.
Earlier this month Airbnb and Hearst unveiled the long-rumoured Airbnbmag set to release in US and Canada on May 23. Hearst’s vast distribution network will expose Airbnb to new audiences and provide the digital brand editorial expertise. With a newsstand price of only $3.99, Airbnbmag will provide a risk-free way to introduce those who have not yet tried the platform to become familiar with their services. This symbiotic partnership has shaken the hotel industry, but Airbnb is still far from becoming the go-to choice for many people.
The reason why hotels have been successful is that they are a familiar and consistent service. Hotels provide amenities that Airbnb can’t guarantee to provide. The extra added costs of hotels provide essential amenities, such as; Wi-Fi, pool and fitness centres, and housekeeping. Concierges are also a great source for travellers looking for expert advice in their destination. Hotels also provide added security — While Airbnb has been known for their horror stories from users, people can be sure hotel security staff will keep them safe.This extra added cost is what keeps the Hotel industry a strong competitor against Airbnb, and will remain the preferred accommodation for many people for years to come.
Airbnb understands the value in staging experiences, not just presenting a desirable lifestyle, but allowing people to live it through their services. The success of their business will depend on the improvement in the communication of their experiential and lifestyle elements of its offerings that Hearst can hopefully help them achieve. A major challenge that Airbnb faces is their consistency, not every experience is consistent due to the nature of the service. Airbnb has to universally improve their operations to ensure that visitors feel comfortable in their accommodations. If Airbnb can find a way to provide a consistent experience, they will no doubt rise into becoming the preferred choice for millennials.