Millennial Travelers Prefer Hotels To Airbnb

Millennials — who have been featured in much of Airbnb’s marketing over the past year on TV, Instagram and even the company’s own magazine — actually prefer a licensed, staffed hotel to an Airbnb rental, according to a recent study.

Despite 52% of respondents saying they regularly or occasionally use owner-direct rental services like Airbnb, it is actually among their least-preferred choices in terms of accommodation. In fact, only 23% said that a short-term apartment and/or condo rental was their preferred type of accommodation.

Millennials will spend $200 billion on travel in 2018 alone, according to the Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report from Resonance Consultancy. The research focuses on Millennial travelers who are U.S. residents between the ages of 20 and 36 with an annual household income of $35,000 or more and who have taken an overnight vacation at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months. 



The 70-page report is aimed at destination marketers, tourism professionals and hotel developers. It notes that travel marketing consultants MMGY Global estimate that 10% of U.S. Millennials plan to travel more in the future than they currently do — the only demographic on the rise. It is the second on the subject in three years from Resonance.

“Our insights from this report have surpassed our inaugural study in many ways,” says Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy. “Technology continues to proliferate, and Millennials are increasingly traveling as families with children whose generation doesn’t yet (but soon will) have its own marketer-concocted moniker.”

Despite the global upheaval, thickening borders and reported security risks abroad for Americans in particular, U.S. Millennials are going global. In the next 24 months, a third of them are likely to visit a foreign country.

After a full-service hotel as their first choice, Millennial traveler respondents cited staying with friends/family as their second choice, followed by a stay at an all-inclusive resort. Roughly a third of Millennial travelers prefer upscale and luxury hotels/resorts (35%), followed by camping (33%).

Respondents — the oldest of whom now have families of their own — also indicated that participating in a once-in-a-lifetime activity and volunteering are some of the most desired future travel activities (36% and 31%, respectively).

Insights West conducted an online survey of 1,548 U.S. Millennial travelers from March 17 to 24, 2017. An overall sample of this size is considered accurate within +/-2.5% 19 times out of 20. The data was weighted by gender, age, region and incidence of travel according to U.S. Census data.

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