Skift Take

While regulation is catching up with the Alternative Accommodations scene, the sector itself is still booming thanks to its social and tech-savvy consumers.

Earlier this month we launched the latest report in our Skift Trends Reports service, The State of Alternative Accommodations 2016.

Below is an excerpt from our Skift Trends Report. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.

The report provides a thorough analysis of the Alternative Accommodations landscape. Who are the big players and what is their presence in the top 5 U.S. markets? Throughout the report we draw a picture of the legal frameworks aimed to regulate the industry, and the supporters behind the regulation – from hotels to affordable housing advocates. Our report is accompanied by a deep data dive on the top 5 U.S. markets, looking at inventory and composition thereof alongside an insightful profiling of the Alternative Accommodations user.

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Not all cities in the U.S., or the world for that matter, are necessarily laying out a welcome mat for short-term rentals. Some cities, like Anaheim, Calif., and Berlin, are in the process of or have finished instituting an all-out ban on short-term rentals. Other cities, like Galveston, Texas, and Savannah, Ga., have very few restrictions on short-term rentals.

Airbnb and its peers are currently engaged in a number of regulatory battles not only in the U.S. but in municipalities around the world. In its efforts to more or less gain legal acceptance for short-term rentals, Airbnb and its peers have lobbied cities and mayors to legalize short-term rentals through the collection and remittance of local lodging taxes. But even in cities where Airbnb has formed tax collection agreements, such as San Francisco, the platform is facing stiffer regulatory restrictions and backlash from the hotel industry, affordable housing advocates, and local politicians and communities.


Data on Inventory Profiling provided by Transparent: Note: Unless otherwise stated, total figures may include duplicate listings across the three platforms analyzed.

What kind of an impact is Airbnb and its peers having on traditional hotels? That’s a billion-dollar question on the minds of many in the hospitality industry. While most data suggests Airbnb is having a relatively minimal impact on hotels, it also notes that Airbnb’s impact varies by market. In a mature city like New York City, for example, Airbnb has one listing for every five hotel rooms in the city, and the city generates the most revenue for the company than any other city in the U.S.


Data on Inventory Profiling provided by Transparent:

Not only is the hotel industry concerned about Airbnb’s impact but so are housing advocates and, even U.S. senators. In July, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren penned a letter to the Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, asking the FTC to “study and quantify” commercial activity on Airbnb, HomeAway Inc., VRBO, and other short-term rental providers.

Full List of Figures

Profiling the Alternative Accommodations Loyalist

  • Share of Total HomeAway Family Web Traffic
  • Age Segmentation: Respondents Loyal to Alternative Accommodations Brands
  • How many leisure trips do you take every year?
  • Do you currently have any of the following messaging apps installed on your smartphone? Select all that apply.
  • How likely are you to use a dating app to connect with locals while traveling, either on this trip or on other trips?
  • How likely are you to post regular updates and pictures of your trip on social media?
  • During this particular trip. Would you say that you use social media more often or less often than when you are at home?
  • During your trip, have you used any of the following apps or websites to find restaurants and places to eat?
  • During your trip, did you leave an online review of a restaurant or hotel?
  • Back home, how often do you use ride sharing apps such as Uber or Lyft as a mode of transportation?
  • During this particular trip, have you used any of the following ride sharing apps to “get around”?
  • Do you currently use any of the following smartphone apps to pay for things either online or at physical stores?

Data Dive Into Pricing and Inventory

  • Number of Alternative Accommodation Listings in the Top 5 U.S. Counties
  • Number of Alternative Accommodation Listings per Platform
  • Number of Alternative Accommodation Listings per 1000 Inhabitants
  • Type of Airbnb listings in the Top 5 U.S. Alternative Accommodation Markets
  • Median Age of the Current Alternative Accommodation Inventory per County
  • Median Age of the Current Alternative Accommodation Inventory per Region
  • Median Price of the Current Alternative Accommodation Inventory per County
  • Median Price for Entire Apartments in the Alternative Accommodation Scene
  • Share of Luxury Alternative Accommodation Inventory per Region
  • Share of Luxury Alternative Accommodation Listings per County
  • Share of Luxury Alternative Accommodation Listings per Platform

New York Pricing and Inventory Deep Dive

  • Interactive Map: Concentration of Listings in New York
  • Interactive Map: Median Price per County in New York

Rental Platform Web Traffic Analysis

  • Overview Airbnb
  • Traffic Share Airbnb
  • Overview
  • Traffic Share
  • Overview HomeAway
  • Traffic Share HomeAway

Preview and Buy the Full Report

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This is the latest in a series of twice-monthly reports aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 100 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: airbnb, alternative accommodations, research reports, sharing economy

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