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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Hotel Alternatives market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following

  • Hotel alternative: Paid lodging other than hotels, motels
    or casino hotels. This report focuses on the following hotel

  • Homeshares: Private residences that are rented by the
    owner in whole or in part to overnight guests.

  • Vacation rentals: Similar to homeshares, but generally
    rented as entire residences (opposed to smaller units) for
    longer terms.

  • Apartment rentals: Residential units within multi-unit
    buildings that are rented on per-night or per-week basis, as
    opposed to monthly leases.

  • Campgrounds: Outdoor areas that provide spaces for
    guests to camp in tents or RVs. Also includes areas that
    provide on-site lodging such as cabins.

  • Hostel: A building that accommodates many overnight
    guests in a setting with more basic amenities than a hotel.
    For instance, many hostels have dormitory- or barracksstyle sleeping areas with minimal privacy, as well as more
    residential-style common areas.

  • Bed and breakfast: Lodging that tends to be small and
    privately-owned and is typically rented for one- or twonight stays. Differs from a homeshare in that while many
    are converted residences, they are fully considered to be

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Travel & Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The number of non-hotel lodging choices available to travelers has exploded in the last decade, becoming a categorical juggernaut in the travel industry. Younger, more experience-minded travelers jumped on early, and in fact remain hotel alternatives’ strongest supporters. Now, while hotel alternatives are still attractive to current young travelers and grown-up early adopters, they have to start filling the gaps in satisfaction to prevent their fans from “aging out”
Mike Gallinari
Travel & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Observations
            • Takeaway 1: Hotel alternatives have a bright future
              • Figure 1: Hotel alternative brand usage and reasons for usage, by age group, April 2019
              • Figure 2: Perceptions of affordability of homeshares vs hotels, by age group, April 2019
            • Opportunity
              • Takeaway 2: Safety and loyalty programs are issues for hotel alternatives
                • Opportunities
                  • Figure 3: Desired features of hotel alternative loyalty programs, by experience with alternatives, April 2019
                • Takeaway 3: Branding is important
                  • Opportunities
                    • Figure 4: Hotel alternative preference, by age group and parental status, April 2019
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • A “hotel alternative” by any name
                      • The big players are doing well
                        • Vacation trends are shifting
                          • The wild is calling
                            • An unpredictable economy gives homesharing a boost
                            • Market Breakdown

                                • Airbnb
                                  • Company Financials
                                    • Expedia Group
                                      • Figure 5: Vrbo logo and mobile site redesign, June 2019
                                    • Company Financials
                                      • Booking Holdings
                                        • Company Financials
                                          • OYO
                                            • Sonder
                                              • Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
                                              • Market Perspective

                                                • Vacation trends favor homeshares
                                                  • Figure 6: Preferred vacation length and frequency – by age, 2014-18
                                                • Vacationers are seeking the road less traveled
                                                  • Figure 7: Attitudes toward vacation destinations, February 2019
                                                • The outdoors are getting greater
                                                  • Figure 8: Enjoyment of camping/hiking, by age group, 2014-18
                                                • Working retirees provide a good host base
                                                  • Figure 9: Boomer attitudes towards continued employment, March 2019
                                              • Market Factors

                                                • Economic gains are unpredictable
                                                  • Figure 10: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2007-Q1 2019
                                                • Hotel ADR climbing
                                                  • Figure 11: Monthly hotel ADR, March 2017-April 2019
                                                • Pass-through income makes hosting worth its SALT
                                                  • High participation in the gig economy works for alternatives
                                                    • Figure 12: Percentage of employed adults with a “side gig,” by generation, March 2019
                                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Hotels and alternatives are moving on each other
                                                    • Recreational vehicles look forward, not at the rear view
                                                      • Loyalty programs aren’t helping alternatives
                                                        • Homeshares have a lot against them
                                                          • Hostels, but less hostile
                                                            • Temporary rooms for temporary guests
                                                              • Wellness gives new areas a shot in the arm
                                                              • What’s Up?

                                                                • Hotels are getting into alternatives
                                                                  • Airbnb is getting into everything
                                                                    • Limited-time hotels
                                                                      • RVs are rolling out updates
                                                                        • Figure 13: Airstream “Bambi” trailer features
                                                                    • What’s Down?

                                                                      • Loyalty programs aren’t great for alts
                                                                        • Perception that homeshares hurt local economies
                                                                          • Regulation threatens the homeshare model
                                                                            • Alternatives make headlines with issues of safety and prejudice
                                                                            • What’s Next?

                                                                              • A hostel by any other name
                                                                                • Hotels will deploy their own mod squads
                                                                                  • Figure 14: Flying Nest modular accommodation
                                                                                • Wellness tourism give alts a leg up
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Airbnb is the industry leader
                                                                                    • Younger travelers get to stay in alternatives, older ones have to
                                                                                      • The proof is in the pudding
                                                                                        • Safety is paramount
                                                                                          • People want unique lodging, not unique FTPs
                                                                                            • Hotels are seen as more responsive
                                                                                              • Host expertise is nice, but not necessary
                                                                                              • Hotel Alternative Guest Segmentation

                                                                                                  • Factors
                                                                                                    • Avid Adventurers (AAs) (37%)
                                                                                                      • Leery Lodgers (LLs) (26%)
                                                                                                        • Traveling Traditionalists (TTs) (38%)
                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Hotel alternative guest segments, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Number and Type of Stays

                                                                                                          • Alternatives are seeing lots of repeat business
                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Mean and median stays in paid accommodations, 2017-19
                                                                                                          • Alternatives have lots of room to grow
                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Types of accommodations stayed, April 2019
                                                                                                          • There’s Airbnb, and everyone else
                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Alternative brands used, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Homeshares and the outdoors more popular with younger lodgers
                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Hotel alternative brands used, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Reasons for Using Hotel Alternatives

                                                                                                          • Perceptions of alternatives improve with experience
                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Reasons for using hotel alternatives, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Younger travelers seek alternatives; older travelers settle for them
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Reasons for using hotel alternatives, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Even older travelers can be won over
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Reasons for using hotel alternatives among age 45+, by experience, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Parents want to be part of the action, but only part-time
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Reasons for using hotel alternatives among ages 18-44, by parental status, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Alts have appeal to different segments
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Reasons for using hotel alternatives, by segment, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Perceptions of Homeshares vs Hotels

                                                                                                          • Homeshares win on uniqueness and experiences
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Perceptions of homeshares vs hotels, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Experience matters
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Perceptions of homeshares vs hotels, by experience with homeshares April 2019
                                                                                                          • Homeshares aren’t hip
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Perceptions of homeshares, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Homeshares lose any perception of affordability with age
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Perceptions of affordability of homeshares vs hotels, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Homeshares aren’t “for” the over-55 crowd
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Perceptions of appropriateness of homeshares, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Leery Lodgers stay in alternates despite views favoring hotels
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Perceptions of hotels vs homeshares, by segment, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Even homeshare champions don’t think they’re safer
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Perceptions of safety, by segment, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Choosing a Hotel Alternative

                                                                                                          • Security is the top priority
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Reasons for choosing a hotel alternative, April 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Reasons for choosing a hotel alternative, by gender, April 2019
                                                                                                          • “A” for Safety
                                                                                                            • Figure 34: TURF analysis – decision factors for choosing hotel alternatives, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Leery Lodgers want to be close to the action
                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Proximity factors in choosing hotel alternatives, by segment, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Hotel Alternative Loyalty Programs

                                                                                                          • Preferred FTP features
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: TURF analysis – Hotel alternative loyalty programs, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Hotel alternative FTPs don’t need to be unique
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Desired features of hotel alternative loyalty programs, by experience with alternatives, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Parents are more interested in perks
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Desired features of hotel alternative loyalty programs, by parental status, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Attitudes toward Hotel Alternatives

                                                                                                          • Hotel alternatives are preferred by parents, younger travelers
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Hotel alternative preference, by age group and parental status, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Alternative guests are more complacent about hotels
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes of lodging as simple quarters, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Hotels are seen as more responsive
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes toward service, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Alternative guests value (but don’t seek) their hosts’ expertise
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Attitudes toward host value, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Alternatives have ease of navigation, some level of trustworthiness
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Attitudes toward hotel alternative infrastructure, April 2019
                                                                                                          • More digitally savvy travelers have the most concerns about contact
                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Concerns about online communication, by age group, April 2019
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Preferred vacation length and frequency – nets, by age, 2014-18
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Enjoyment of camping/hiking, by age group, 2014-18
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Attitudes toward hotel alternatives, April 2019
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Monthly hotel ADR, March 2017-April 2019

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