Since 2007, Airbnb has been welcoming travelers from almost every country in the world to a new and groundbreaking form of accommodation. It also gives property owners the opportunity to turn their apartments and private rooms into income-generating vacation homes.
Why do hosts and travelers alike choose Airbnb and how does it compare to others?major online booking sites?
And most importantly, what does the future of Airbnb look like amid a pandemic that has rocked most of the hospitality industry?
What makes Airbnb different from the competition?
Airbnb is an international accommodation company and vacation rental platform trusted by homeowners and travelers around the world. With more than 4 million hosts in over 220 countries worldwide, Airbnb is unique compared to a typical hotel experience.
Founded in San Francisco in 2007, Airbnb revolutionized the vacation rental industry by mainstreaming the community-based home-sharing business model. From a Florida condo to a homestay in New York, an apartment in London or a luxury vacation home in Los Angeles, short term rental providers now have a trusted platform to access the vacation rental market.
Airbnb prides itself on enabling guests to “experience the world in an authentic, connected way” by staying in a space rented and hosted by a local.
Why do people use Airbnb?
For landlords of holiday apartments:
Renting out your home to others can be an excellent way to generate extra income. On average,Airbnb hosts can earn up to $924every month, with almost 50% of all hosts making more than $500 per month.
Additionally, it's much more flexible than running a hotel, as you can set your own cancellation policy, when you want to open your home to travelers, and whether you want to rent the entire unit or just a room. Owners can host their guests even remotelycontactless technologieslike mobile access apps for remote check-in, smart temperature control, and even noise monitoring services. And since booking fees are easily collected online with secure credit card processing, receiving payments is hassle-free.
As an Airbnb host, you also get free insurance in case something breaks in your home.Airbnb Insurancecontains:
- $1 million in liability insurance
- Damage protection for your valuables
- Spending on unexpected cleaning costs
- Protection from pet damage
- Loss of income protection due to damage caused by a guest
Compared to staying in a hotel, booking a vacation rental is not only cheaper in many cases - it also gives you a unique opportunity to have more of a local experience. There are also many unique places to stay on Airbnb for travelers looking for an experience that differs from a standard hotel room.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, guests have been able to rent an entire unit to themselves and avoid social contact. Actually theThe vacation rental marketplace has excelled during the pandemic, even if the hotels were not very busy.
What is the price range for Airbnb?
Airbnb includes aService feefor both guests and hosts – guests pay a mandatory 14% service charge, while hosts pay 3% of the booking subtotal (price per night + your cleaning fee, but excluding Airbnb taxes and fees). The service fee covers the cost of Airbnb services such as:
- 24/7 multilingual customer support
- Resources for the host education program
- Marketing via Google and social media
- damage protection
Hosts who are wondering how to rate their listings can get oneProperty-Management-System (PMS)with integratedRevenue-Management-Toolto follow the local vacation rental market and optimize prices accordingly.
What are the future prospects for Airbnb and its competitors?
In short, the future for Airbnb and vacation rentals looks bright.
In July 2020, Cloudbeds enlisted the help of leading benchmarking and data insight providers STR and AirDNA to analyze hotel and short-term rental data from 2019 to June 27, 2020 across 27 markets worldwide, including 12 regional target markets and 15 urban markets.
The data showed that despite the low prices for hotel rooms, vacation rentals were more popular with an occupancy rate of 58% compared to a hotel room occupancy rate of 39%.
But why is it like that?
One reason is that vacation rentals offer a unique type of accommodation where guests are in control of their living space and can safely isolate themselves from other people. Many rental properties are located in remote outdoor locations where people can easily escape their small urban dwellings to find open space and fresh air.
Additionally, it was covered in a recent Cloudbeds webinarOTAs, metasearch and the future of distribution, Leisure travel still dominates business travel and vacation rentals traditionally serve a leisure travel market. Quiet,change notesthat startups are now spending more on Airbnb than office rentals, as "venture-funded startups in the US are swapping offices for team travel when their leases expire."
Airbnb founder Brian Chesky is convinced that long-term stays of 28 days or more in particular increased in the second quarter of 2021Remote work trendsWe are here to stay.
With travel restrictions and demand still faltering at the start of another year we'll have to see where the market goes, but from the past vacation rentals are well positioned to capture market share.
How does Airbnb compare to other rental sites?
As trustworthy and well-known as Airbnb is, there are similar property rental sites out there. Some Airbnb alternatives offer additional benefits, while others specialize in catering to a specific type of visitor.
Global Airbnb Competitor
part of the HomeAway group,Vrbo(originally known as “Vacation Rentals”) is the second largest short-term rental company in the world, next to Airbnb. Vrbo is primarily aimed at families and has over 2 million listings worldwide - from apartments to villas.
Because Vrbo is owned by HomeAway, which is part of the Expedia group, any property you list on Vrbo will automatically be listed on Expedia. This saves you the trouble of having to make a separate listing.
Still, Vrbo has fewer listings compared to Airbnb's +6 million. You also can't list shared rooms on Vrbo - something you can do on Airbnb.
With over 350,000 rentals, from luxury villas on the Spanish coast to studio apartments in Paris,Wimduhas “the largest selection of vacation rentals in the world”.
While that number is impressive, the offerings are still much smaller than Airbnb's.
Since Wimdu is based in Germany, the company also attracts more travelers from Europe. Wimdu is powered by HomeToGo, a vacation rental search engine that also powers Tripping.com
Part of the Priceline Group, which owns the Kayak brand,Booking.comis one of the world's largest and best known online travel agencies with listings in 227 countries and support in over 40 languages. It is headquartered in Amsterdam but has a strong global presence.
Unlike Airbnb, Booking.com emphasizes traditional hotel rooms rather than residential spaces hosted by locals. Still, it's a good place to get visibility on your property.
The owner of big websites like Hotels.com and Trivago,Expediais one of the largest online travel agencies, attracting millions of bookings every year. Therefore, a property listing on the Expedia website offers excellent visibility.
Expedia also offers hotels, rental cars, and flights, so it appeals to a much larger audience than other Airbnb alternatives that only focus on short-term rentals.
With 510,000 listings, Expedia's listings are fewer than Airbnb's. Expedia also charges a much higher commission rate of 16.5%.
Tripadvisoris primarily known for reviews of hotels, restaurants and activities, but also offers an accommodation directory and special tours.
TripAdvisor also includes HouseTrip, HolidayLettings and Flipkey - three sites with the largest selection of vacation homes in the world.
Because of this, the number of listings on TripAdvisor is much larger than Airbnb — over 7.3 million (including accommodation, airlines, restaurants, etc.).
Like Expedia, TripAdvisor charges a higher 15% commission fee for a listing.
The leading online travel booking site in Asia,Agodais a Singapore-based travel agency with 2 million real estate listings, including both hotels and private residences.
At 16%, Agoda's commission fee is higher than Airbnb's. In addition to accommodation, Agoda also offers airport transfers and a loyalty program called PointsMAX, which allows travelers to earn points for every booking.
These points can then be spent on things like discounted airline tickets.
Another Singapore-based online travel agency,Trip.com, has over 1.4 million hotels in 200 countries and regions.
In addition to accommodation, Trip.com also offers car rentals through some of the world's largest car rental companies, including Hertz, Avis and Europcar.
Accommodations listed on Trip.com have a maximum length of stay of 30 days, compared to Airbnb's maximum length of stay, which allows stays longer than 30 days.
GlampingHubis a website created specifically to promote glamping (i.e. luxury-style camping accommodation with upscale amenities and services) and eco-friendly travel.
The company has more than 22,000 campgrounds, ranches, and unique lodging options—guests can rent everything from luxurious tree houses to traditional Mongolian yurt tents and even train cabins that have been converted into living spaces.
GlampingHub differs from Airbnb because they focus on glamping and outdoor-style accommodation.
Regional Airbnb Competitor
One of the largest online travel agencies in Asia,Travelokahas about 100,000 listings on its website (mostly in Asia), including hotels, guesthouses and even homestays.
Unlike Airbnb, Traveloka has fewer listings and a smaller audience of around 50 million people. Despite this, they also offer car rentals and airport transfers.
10. Pick up/take off
Known asLift upin Brazil and Despegar in the rest of Latin America, this website is one of Latin America's most experienced travel agencies with worldwide listings.
In addition to accommodation, Despegar also offers rental cars, flights and accommodation travel packages.
While Airbnb focuses on home rentals, Despegar is primarily a traditional travel agency. However, they have a growing inventory of houses and apartments for rent and offer plenty of visibility for travelers in Latin America.
Based in Barcelona,eDreams(Part of ODIGEO Group) is one of the world's leading online travel brands, operating in 40 countries and serving 18 million customers. They have a large presence in Europe. eDreams also offers a wide range of flights, hotel packages, car rentals and holiday homes.
Compared to Airbnb, eDreams still has a larger hotel-based inventory. However, like many other OTAs today, their portfolio of short-term rentals and vacation homes is also growing.
PegiPegi is an Indonesia-based OTA with a directory of over 25,000 hotels and 7,500 travel guides. Most of the hotels and destinations listed in their directory are located in Indonesia. Their offerings include guest houses, cottages and serviced apartments.
PegiPegi primarily caters to Indonesian travelers and doesn't have the same global footprint as Airbnb.
Officially known as "Rakuten Travel Xchange' this site has nearly 700,000 accommodation listings, ranging from traditional hotels to rental properties.
Rakuten has a particularly strong presence in Japan, and although it's listed in 200 countries overall, its global brand awareness isn't as strong as Airbnb's.
That being said, out of the 700,000 properties listed on the Rakuten website, 500,000 are traditional hotels.
On your website,Riparidestates that her goal is to "inspire people to break free from modern traps and find fulfillment in nature".
In addition to nature-inspired short-term rentals, Riparide also offers “Riparide Stories” – a kind of travel story where other guests share their experiences and adventures during their stay.
Because Riparide only has listings in Australia, they don't have the same global footprint as Airbnb.
Airbnb's niche competitors
Certain companies have created niche inventory websites to attract guests looking for unique properties. Like Airbnb, they also offer accommodation, but for people with a specific interest.
Overallis very similar to Airbnb in many ways — it also offers fully furnished co-living spaces that people can rent for a more local experience.
Unlike Airbnb, however, Anyplace has begun to narrow its inventory to purpose-built apartments to attract the growing number of telecommuters in recent years.
16. Living together
Coliving.comoffers accommodation based on the principle of “the value of the community”. In addition to your living quarters, Coliving.com offers many opportunities for business networking or making new friends during your stay.
In addition to their socializing opportunities, Coliving.com's rates include housekeeping and laundry services — something Airbnb charges extra for.
17. 9 apartments
With 6 million homes for rent,9apartmentscan be considered the European version of Airbnb, offering apartments, guesthouses, rooms and more.
However, compared to Airbnb, 9flats’ audience is much smaller – under 1 million.
18. Instant World Booking
With accommodation in over 5000 cities worldwide,Instant World Bookingis an OTA that prides itself on the adventure that travel brings.
Their offers include unique and affordable hotels, hostels and apartments around the world.
Founded in Barcelona in 2003,Nur-Apartmentsspecializes in short-term rental accommodation including apartments, vacation rentals and aparthotels. Currently, their inventory includes more than 150,000 accommodations in 120 countries around the world.
Although their inventory is a small fraction of Airbnb's inventory, Only-Apartments has a global presence in a niche market that spans many desirable destinations in Europe and the US.
20. Habicus group
Habicus groupis a leading provider of serviced apartments with an extensive corporate and private customer base. They specialize in providing comfortable and luxurious serviced apartments for business travellers.
Compared to Airbnb, which mainly attracts leisure travelers, Habicus Group offers short-term rental companies a unique opportunity to book for business travelers.
Airbnb's growth is no secret: what started as a way to rent an extra room in your apartment has grown into the largest community-based travel platform - from private rooms to entire houses to boutique hotel rooms. Whether through Airbnb or one of the manyAirbnb Competitors and Alternativeshospitality businesses have the opportunity to reach new travelers.
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