Where Do Travelers Want To Stay?

Where do
want to stay?
Hotels top private accommodations (for now)


The buzz about Airbnb is loud. This sharing economy sweetheart and companies like it connect travelers to a completely different kind of travel experience. Affordable. Personal. Local. And disruptive to traditional hotels.

We asked
about their lodging preferences.


prefer hotels over all other options.

But private accommodations are gaining traction.

Message to hotel companies:

"Where I would consider staying"
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Traditional Hotel
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Business Traveler
Business Traveler
Leisure Traveler
Leisure Traveler

China has the highest percentage (78%) that would consider staying with friends and family when planning a business trip. This may reflect the still emerging mid-scale business class hotel market in the country, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd tier metro markets.


Travelers who stay only in private accommodations are a minority, but a significant one. Consider this: 41% OF TRAVELERS— 61% OF MILLENNIALS—chose to stay at a private accommodation over a hotel in the last six months.

For hotels to protect their market position, they must answer a fundamental question: WHY DO TRAVELERS CHOOSE PRIVATE ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN BOOKING A STAY?

Surprisingly, price is the top driver of consideration and choice, but not overwhelmingly so. Several factors influence why guests choose private accommodations.

The Price Is Right
The Price Is Right
choose private accommodations for better pricing.
Location, Location, Location
Location, Location, Location
find the location of private accommodations more appealing.
A One-Of-A-Kind Experience
A One-Of-A-Kind Experience
are drawn to the unique experience of a private accommodation.


Travelers in Europe, Asia and the United States have distinct views about private accommodations. Market nuance is everything. There are no one-size-fits-all answers to competing with private accommodations.

China Mobile
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  • 93% of Chinese business travelers exclusively/usually choose a hotel, compared to 74% across geographies.
  • China has the highest percentage of respondents most likely to have booked a hotel over a private accommodation in the last six months.
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France Mobile
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  • 5% of French travelers chose "unique experience" as a driver for private accommodations, compared to 13% across all geographies.
  • France has the highest number of travelers choosing private accommodations based on price.
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Japan Mobile
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  • Japan has the highest number of business travelers and leisure travelers exclusively choosing hotels.
  • Japan has the highest percentage of travelers who identify “better pricing” as key influence on consideration of private accommodations.
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UK Mobile
United Kingdom
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  • The United Kingdom has the highest percentage of respondents say they would never consider a hotel for a business trip.
  • More UK leisure travelers (85%) exclusively/usually consider a hotel than business travelers (60%) do.
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USA Mobile
United States
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  • The United States has the highest number of business travelers exclusively choosing private condos (18%) and private houses (18%.)
  • The United States has the highest number of leisure travelers exclusively choosing private condos (23%) and private houses (19%.)
  • The unique experience of a private accommodation is the top driver of choosing to stay there for US travelers.
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How to compete with private accommodations over the long term? Lowering prices is not the answer. Hotels must up their game across the board.

Forget about one-size-fits all.
The importance of pricing, location and guest experience reflect individuals’ preferences, but also, geographic realities—from the cost of a hotel room to the availability of properties for short-term rent. Broad brush strategies easily fall flat.
Stretch the brand with more options.
By developing targeted brand offerings that appeal to different traveler groups—from the price sensitive to the fearless adventurer to the luxury traveler—hotels can extend their reach and strengthen their value proposition.
Curate guest experiences with local flavor.
The immersive, embedded aspect of private accommodations is a powerful lure, even for guests who prioritize price in purchase decisions. Hotels can deliver this too with experiences rich in local customs, cuisines, people and events.
Know what’s cool and coming with “the kids.”
Travelers who prefer private accommodations skew young. Attracting Millennial and Gen Z guests—a growing segment in hospitality—means being agile and infusing the stay with what they like about private accommodations.