New Data: The Airbnb Advantage
We have long seen how hosts on Airbnb who share their homes and boutique hotels can offer unique, memorable hospitality. As we continue to welcome boutique hotels onto the Airbnb platform, we are also seeing continued growth in the number of hosts who share their homes.
Others in the hospitality industry have also noted this trend and we are flattered that those in the travel sector who were once skeptical of home sharing now seek to replicate the Airbnb model. Many traditional hospitality companies and the organizations they fund have resisted home sharing, spending millions of dollars to campaign against people sharing their homes. We are gratified to see these organizations now acknowledge that home sharing is an acceptable, and for many, preferred way to travel. While they were against it before they were for it, it is better to arrive late than never arrive at all.
These recent announcements also validate the simple fact that home sharing is growing fast: travelers are seeking authentic experiences and more people will be opening their homes tomorrow than today.
Though Airbnb is a young company, home sharing is an old concept. For centuries, people have been sharing spaces for both short- and long-term stays. CityLab noted that “Indiana University history professor Wendy Gamber estimates that ‘between one third and one half of nineteenth-century urban residents either took in boarders or were boarders themselves.’” Additionally, sharing a home when traveling has been done by rank-and-file travelers and prominent leaders alike. As a lawyer practicing in central Illinois in the 1850s, Abraham Lincoln often stayed in boarding houses where he made people-to-people connections that shaped his views. More than a century later Jimmy Carter, in part to stay closely connected to people, stayed in the homes of volunteers while seeking the Presidency in 1976.
Airbnb was formally launched in 2008 during the midst of the Great Recession. The growth of Airbnb was fueled by hosts who sought to earn extra money and millennial travelers specifically seeking out authentic experiences. In 2018, 58 percent of our hosts and booking guests around the world were millennials. Millennials and Generation Z are projected to represent over 75% of the key consumer demographic by 2022 and will continue to shape the travel and tourism sector. The millennial populations of both India (410 million) and China (400 million) are larger than the entire population of the U.S.
These younger travelers have also helped spread the word about Airbnb to others. Today, over 400,000 senior citizens are hosting on Airbnb and more than 400,000 companies actively manage their business travel with Airbnb.
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