Has Airbnb become more expensive than hotels?

The company was born in 2007, when Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky rented their San Francisco loft to delegates for a conference to pay their rent. Since then, “boring” hotels have struggled to compete with the prospect of staying in a lighthouse or an old factory. And during Covid, when self-catering accommodation fueled the staycation boom, things peaked.

“Travel has gotten so much easier over the past decade that a shortage of hotel rooms combined with a booming staycation market has fueled Airbnb’s growth,” says travel startup Robin Clifford. Impala. “The rise of remote work has driven exponential demand for the segment, pushing prices even higher.”

Airbnb was valued at $113bn (£89bn) last year, up from $75bn (£59bn) in 2020. UK hosts earned more than £1.5bn and in May this year the average rent per night was £146. . The site contains listings of over six million properties.

But whereas during the Covid, a nice and isolated couple seemed ideal, today we want more and more comfort and to have the impression that life is going back to its normal course.

That means hard-hit hotels are suddenly winning customers by offering competitive pricing and the personal touches that were once Airbnb’s USP: homemade cookies, reliable Wi-Fi and concierge services. Boutique hotels push the “local” angle, while budget chains are clean, central, and offer all-you-can-eat breakfast. For vacationers, this removes some of the uncertainty associated with the recovery of the travel industry.

Lindsey Samuel Willis, 40, and six friends paid $3,500 (£2,772) for what they thought was a ‘unique, fun and distinct property’ in Florida, for a wedding. “The photos were not an accurate representation of what we thought was a kitschy lakeside retreat. It was a cabin,” he said.

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