Why Millennials Love Airbnb
By John Stocki, Columnist
Chances are you know someone that has used Airbnb recently. The peer-to-peer lodging site has now racked up over 60 million guests in 190+ countries, so we wouldn't be surprised. At this point, it's safe to say they're quickly becoming a household name, particularly among Millennials. In fact, in a recent survey, 67% of those between 18 and 24, and 75% of those between 25 and 34 said that they've used a home-sharing service in the past year. Here is exactly why they love Airbnb so much!
The Internet has created a generation of overly-educated consumers. Combine that with decades of hotel standardization, and you'll quickly understand why travelers no longer value hotel accommodations the way they once did.
Millennials, in particular, have proven that they're a generation craving unique travel experiences. They're tired of the cookie-cutter experience many traditional hotels bring to the table. They looking for something unique. The kind of experiences that will make their friends jealous. The kind of experiences Airbnb provides daily.
Stay in a Scottish castle for a week? No problem. Rent a Hollywood penthouse with a view of the sign? Of course. Camp in a treehouse deep in the Costa Rican rainforest? Sure. Airbnb has it all, and they have it all over the world.
The Value Proposition
We each place value on lodging in our own way. Some look at hotels as a means to an end. Others relish the impeccable service 5-star hotels have to offer. Airbnb's inventory caters to everyone on the spectrum.
Whether you're a cost-conscious traveler looking for something below hotel prices or you're a playboy looking to show off your bankroll, Airbnb has you covered. Looking to city-hop on the cheap? You can rent a room in someone's house in almost every city you visit. Looking to splurge on the perfect place to propose? You can rent private seaside residences all over the world.
There is literally something for everyone, in every situation, listed on Airbnb. Guests simply need to decide what matters most to them.
The host is one of the most overlooked benefits of using Airbnb. They're essentially a built-in concierge. While traditional hotels often have a standard list restaurants and local services, when using Airbnb, you get the inside scoop from your host on lesser known places that "only the locals know". Guests find out the best things to see and do where they're staying from people that actually live there.
Above and beyond traditional concierge-like services, hosts often provide extra perks for guests. Many times breakfast is included when renting a single room for example. Not saying that some hotels don't also provide breakfast, but we all know that homemade is better than eggs that come in a milk carton. We've personally had hosts provide everything from wine and coffee to bikes and canoes. When offered by hotels, guests simply see the $$$ adding up, knowing that nothing comes free in most traditional lodging situations. Not so when booking through Airbnb.
But…it's not all looking up for Airbnb
While Airbnb has an incredible amount to offer Millennial travelers, it isn't without its critics. Mainly, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) which has said that Airbnb gives operators the ability to run what are essentially "illegal hotels." They've also pointed out that Airbnb gives operators an unfair advantage because hosts are not forced to follow the same stringent regulations their properties are. Though the market is smitten with Airbnb, traditional hoteliers are up in arms and waiting for regulatory measures to catch-up. Look for a few words from us on the future of Airbnb shortly.
In the meantime, I would love to hear about any fantastic (or horrible) hotel or Airbnb experiences you've had recently. Even more so if the experience has caused you to change the way you travel. Send me an email at [email protected] and your story might be the inspiration for a future article.
Born and educated in the United States, John Stocki launched his career on a global scale living and working in Australia, United Arab Emirates, and China for over five years, as well as traveling and training in over 30 countries and 29 states throughout the US. In 2012, after returning to the US, John started the Stocki Exchange - A hospitality consulting firm where he now acts as the company's CEO.More from John Stocki