You’ve booked the flights and rented the car, but where are you going to stay? Accommodation can make or break any holiday and since Airbnb arrived on the scene, the choice has vastly increased. Airbnbs have surged in popularity, but are they better than hotels? To get to the bottom of this, we investigated whether British holidaymakers find the standards in Airbnbs are as good as those in hotels, or better, for important aspects such as cleanliness, value for money and authentic local experiences.
How do Brits rate different aspects of Airbnbs and hotels?
Despite Airbnb’s growing popularity, our research found that 7 out of 10 holidaymakers (71%) who stayed in hotels and Airbnbs believe Airbnbs don’t provide better value for money than hotels.
In addition, British travellers expect Airbnbs to be less clean than hotels. Less than a quarter (23%) think Airbnbs match the cleanliness of hotels, despite all properties listed on Airbnb having to abide by global hospitality standards.
A quarter (24%) of British travellers would rely on Airbnb to give them a genuine experience of a city or country, with the rest believing you could get a better or the same experience at a hotel.
Furthermore, only 9% believe that Airbnbs are in better locations compared to 62% who think hotels are better situated. However, when asked which type of accommodation they would prefer for a rural holiday, 41% would choose an Airbnb or a B&B.
Normally the least hassle to organise and check-in
Normally the most exciting and special option to stay in
Normally has the better customer service
Normally gives you the most authentic experience of a place
Normally the most social experience
Our research also explored generational opinions on the differences in standards of Airbnbs and hotels for a variety of aspects such as value for money, most special place to stay, customer service and more. Only 28% of the silent generation thought Airbnbs offered the same value for money as hotels, which is significantly lower than the 46% of generation Z who thought they provided similar value. The silent generation agreed that staying in a hotel makes a trip more special, whereas only 49% of generation Z thought this.
What type of accommodation do Brits prefer to stay in?
Although Brits rate hotels more highly for value for money, cleanliness, location and experience, the type of trip can influence what type of accommodation they choose. Hotels top the list for business trips, whereas Airbnbs were best for group holidays. Hostels came out on top for solo vacations and B&Bs were most popular for rural getaways.
Does where you live affect your accommodation preference?
Our regional investigation found that, across the board, hotels are the most popular type of accommodation. However, different types of accommodation are more popular in certain regions. Airbnbs are most popular in London, where 15% of residents said they prefer staying in Airbnbs compared with just 7% of those from the West Midlands, the region where Airbnbs are least popular.
In general, hostels were the least popular in all regions, although residents in London were most open to staying in them as 7% said this was their favourite type of accommodation.
Across all generations, we found that hotels are the most popular type of accommodation, although different types of accommodation are popular with certain generations.
Airbnbs are most popular with millennials, with 20% saying this was their preferred type of accommodation, in comparison with just 6% of the silent generation who favoured Airbnbs. For all generations hostels were the least popular; apart from millennials who disliked B&Bs more.
Georgia-Rose is a publisher at Finder.com and specialises in all things shopping and travel. She has years of experience working in retail and tourism and as an avid budget traveller, she loves helping people find the best deals on everything from plane tickets to sunglasses.
When she's not jetting off somewhere new you'll find her watching cake videos or befriending stray cats.
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