How Airbnb Bested the Hotel Industry

The Rise of Airbnb

15 years ago, hotels were an inevitable part of traveling. Hotels generated $122 billion in income in 2005, netting $26 billion. 

Then, along came AirbnbThe platform allows people to list their homes for vacation rentals, and travelers to choose from a variety of options. Airbnb makes a commission. The company skyrocketed to success with ease, raising millions from investment firms and celebrities. 

By 2016, Airbnb had listings in 191 countries and had done more business than Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, Wyndham, and Accor combined.  

Here are three key reasons customers have embraced Airbnb:  

  1. More space. When renting an Airbnb, travelers can often get a place to stay with several bedrooms and all the amenities of a home for less than the cost of a hotel. 
  2. Increased privacy. Having an entire unit or house to one’s group is a huge plus when traveling, and can add to feelings of safety on a trip.  
  3. Flexibility in location. Many travelers like to visit “off the beaten path” locations that may not have hotels at all.  

By allowing for things hotels can’t do, Airbnb took off quickly and impressively. In 2020, the company went public at a valuation of over $100 billion.   

 Still, the company is showing no signs of slowing down. Even with decreased travel during the pandemic, Airbnb continues to succeed, as many people feel safer in a home than in a hotel. Time will tell how the hospitality industry fares with Airbnb in the landscape.

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