Ever since Airbnb came on the scene, the hotel industry has been worried the home-sharing company could hurt the hospitality and real estate industries.
It turns out that at least some of those concerns might be unfounded.
Data research firm STR took a look at Airbnb data alongside hotel data in 13 US and international markets. STR compared Airbnb to the biggest hotel chains in the world, like Marriott and Starwood (which recently merged), Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and more.
The data found that Airbnb has more than double the number of listings worldwide than Marriott/Starwood and Hilton combined, but it's not actually replacing hotels.
Comparing Airbnb and hotels in the first place is "apples to oranges," as STR senior research analyst Jessica Haywood notes in her breakdown of the data. Travelers who choose to stay in an Airbnb versus a hotel are often looking for an entirely different type of experience. They want to interact with hosts, want to be immersed in the local culture, or simply can't afford to stay in a hotel, so will only travel if they have free or very cheap accommodations.
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