Airbnb is less than eight years old, but it has already caused massive changes in the way people travel. While consumers may have initially been hesitant to try the service, a new survey from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shows that once they switch, they don’t go back to hotels.
According to a note sent out by Steven Kent and his team, a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers had some pretty troublesome findings for the hotel industry.
“If people have stayed in peer-to-peer lodging [P2P] in the last five years, the likelihood that they prefer traditional hotels is halved (79 percent vs. 40 percent),” the data showed. “We find it interesting that people ‘do a 180’ in their preferences once they use P2P lodging. They move directly from preferring traditional hotels to preferring P2P accommodations.”
The survey also showed that both familiarity and use of the P2P industry is increasing. Last year, 11 percent of respondents said they had used a P2P site like Airbnb, HomeAway, and FlipKey. That number increased to 16 percent in the final quarter of the year. During that same time frame, familiarity increased from 24 percent to 35 percent.
Even though younger users are typically more familiar with these sites, they aren’t the only ones using them. When asked whether they had used a P2P site within the past year, Goldman found that 67 percent of respondents between 18-24 said yes, with 75 percent of those between 25-34 and 64 percent of those between 35-44 also having used this form of accommodation. Age groups higher than 45 ranged from 29 percent to 23 percent of respondents using these sites.
While the higher the person’s income, the more likely they are to be familiar with P2P travel, there isn’t a perfect correlation between wealth and actually using it. The income ranges most likely to have used the sites are those between $70,000 and $119,999, both at roughly 70 percent.
The growth in the industry was on full display at this year’s Super Bowl. Airbnb, one of the most well-known P2P sites, anticipated 15,000 people booking home rentals for Super Bowl 50 in the Bay Area, four times more than the previous game in Phoenix. With a $25.5 billion valuation, the company is worth more than Macy’s Inc. and Best Buy Co. combined.