New research suggests that members of hotel frequent guest programs are more likely than other travelers to try Airbnb as an alternative for accommodations.
Traveler surveys conducted for Morgan Stanley Research found that a person’s membership in a hotel loyalty program is a good indicator of how likely he would be to try staying in an Airbnb property instead of a commercial hotel, according to a report in Quartz.
You might suspect that a hotel program loyalist would be less likely than a non-member to try an alternative form of accommodation, but the study found that the opposite is true.
Instead, it found that hotel loyalty program members were more than twice as likely as non-members to use Airbnb. And what’s more, that pattern holds true no matter how frequently the person travels – i.e., loyalty program members who take only a few trips a year are still more than twice as likely to stay at an Airbnb properties as non-members who are infrequent travelers.
The research suggests that the major hotel companies’ loyalty programs alone, with their promise of rewards and special perks for frequent stays, may not be enough to keep Airbnb from making more inroads into their business.
In recent months, Airbnb has been making a concerted effort to attract business travelers, who are the core members of hotel loyalty programs. It has created a separate area of its website just for business customers, where it offers special listings of its member properties that have the kinds of amenities and services road warriors want. It also has taken steps to integrate its payment system with those of companies and corporate payment networks, so employees who book Airbnb properties can automatically expense their stay.
Another recent Morgan Stanley study found that the number of travelers who use Airbnb as an alternative to a hotel is increasing faster than expected, and could be impacting the growth rate of hotel industry revenues. Its consumer survey in the U.S. and Europe found that traveler awareness of Airbnb has hit 75 percent, and that its market penetration is growing as well: The proportion of leisure and business travelers who have used Airbnb was 19 percent and 18 percent respectively, up from 12 percent for both groups a year earlier.
In the market for a new credit card? See our “Credit Card Deals” tab to shop around! It helps us help you!