British holidaymakers are not as engaged with Airbnb as the hype suggests, according to the World Travel Market Industry Report 2016, released today (Monday 7 November) at World Travel Market London.
When asked about their use of the poster child for the so-called sharing economy, only 12% of British holidaymakers said that they had used Airbnb.
Airbnb, the global platform which allows individuals around the globe to rent homes or rooms to travellers, is worth an estimated $30 billion. In September it raised $555 million dollars, with Google’s dedicated investment arm taking a stake.
It is widely seen as a disruptor, prompting not only global hotel chains to rethink their business model but also driving a change in the how online travel agencies market their accommodation inventory.
The relatively low take-up by Brits comes as a surprise in light of the brand’s profile, although last year’s World Travel Market Industry Report found that only 3% on Brits used Airbnb.
This suggests that Airbnb’s marketing initiatives in the UK are starting to raise awareness.
Looking ahead, the report found that less than one in five of those who haven’t yet used Airbnb would consider doing so in the future, with three in ten saying they had no intention of using the platform. Nearly half (48%) were undecided.
Repeat use might also be a concern – of the 12% who did use Airbnb only 60% said they would do so again.
The global travel industry is divided on whether the wider sharing economy is having an effect on its business, with 47% of trade respondents saying their business was unaffected by the trend. Of those who were seeing an impact, 32% said it was negative, 21% positive.
Compared with 2015, the sharing economy is growing in influence. Last year the percentage of industry respondents unaffected was 58%. However, last year’s sample was less enthusiastic with only 16% talking in terms of a positive impact, while the negative impact was felt by 26%.
World Travel Market Senior Director Simon Press said: “This is a fascinating snapshot into how the travel industry sees itself and how consumers see the sector. More than half of us who work in the industry are seeing our business change as a result of the sharing economy, even if the level of influence on British travellers at least is limited.
“But Airbnb is an incredibly well-funded and run business which will mature and develop over time. It has a global reach and is undeniably a significant player in the travel industry.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn). The annual gathering of 50,000 senior travel industry professionals takes place at ExCeL – London from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 November 2016.
World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.
WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.