Have You Embraced The Trendy Airbnb Lodging Accommodations For Your Leisure Travel? Would You Open Your Home As A Host?
Let me preface my story by saying I’m often an early adopter of new products and services. I ordered my children’s holiday toys online before it was a trend, or even reliable. I jumped into an Uber the moment I heard if was available in my area. However, some new products and services take a while to grow on me. Airbnb may be one of them.
I recently took a mini-vacation with my millennial daughters. I was both excited and apprehensive about my first Airbnb experience. I figured the place would be either a dive or very nice, no “in-between”. The photos of the apartment on the website looked appealing, and it was in a desirable urban location. When we arrived, there was a little trouble picking up the keys, but other than that, everything went smoothly. The Airbnb accommodations resembled the pictures on the website (although the angle of the photos made the place look way cooler), the beds were comfortable, and there was lots of space. It was a good deal for the price considering the location. My millennials, who are frequent Airbnb guests, were happy with our decision. However for me, there was something missing from my vacation experience. There was something about staying in a stranger’s home (although in this particular situation, I think the apartment was used strictly for rental purposes) that made me a little uncomfortable. I know television service is not a necessity for millennials as long as they have access to the Internet and Netflix, but I find it comforting to flip through TV channels. Also, and this is probably a minor detail, there were no face towels or hand towels. Fortunately, thanks to a tip from a previous visitor on the website, I brought my own. All in all, the accommodations were perfectly adequate, but I’m not sure I’m ready to trade in my hotel room with maid service unless the price is significantly less. I’m all for a deal, but price being even close, give me the hotel TV remote ( with a plastic bag over it to protect from germs), the room service, the fresh towels and sheets upon request, and a bar downstairs. I may not be the target audience for this new concept, or maybe it’s just me. On the other hand, I wouldn’t rule out being an Airbnb host if I owned appealing accommodations in a desirable location and needed some additional income.
Airbnb has become a huge player in the lodging market today. Interestingly, while Millennials and Generation Z have been the largest segments to embrace this type of lodging, Baby Boomers are the fastest growing segment of hosts.
According the to website, https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/airbnbs-2016-highlights-and-2017-trends-were-watching/
Despite having lower awareness than other accommodation providers, Airbnb today has more listings than the top three hotel chains combined, including 1 million listings now available via Instant Book. Only one hotel chain has more rooms than we have instantly bookable listings….
Millennials already account for roughly 60 percent of all guests who have ever booked on Airbnb, and the number of Millennials who have booked on Airbnb has grown more than 120 percent in the past year.
As the travel and hospitality market continues to expand, Millennials and Generation Z have been quicker to embrace home sharing.
Seniors, meanwhile, are our fastest-growing host demographic, and senior women consistently are the best-rated hosts on Airbnb. AARP polling shows most older Americans wanting to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and many of them have empty bedrooms that can yield extra income to help them afford to “age in place.” According to research conducted for Airbnb:
Home sharing on Airbnb brings the typical US host aged 65 and older an extra $8,350 a year, equal to a 52-percent increase over typical Social Security income.
Fifty-eight percent of our older American hosts report that Airbnb has helped them stay in their homes.