Throw everything you thought you knew about alternative accommodations out the window

For the better half of a decade, alternative accommodations (short-term rentals, homeshares and beyond) have been the talk of the town. As a segment they are growing 1.7x faster than hotels in the EU - a clear sign that they are here to stay!

But with so much chatter around hotel ‘alternatives’, it becomes harder to cut through the noise and begs the question, what really is going on?

To help you better understand the state of this competitive market, we reveal the facts behind the fiction:

1. People choose alternative accommodations to feel like they are at home

While amenities are still key, almost half of UK travellers choose alternative accommodations because it gives them the opportunity to live like a local and explore places outside of their comfort zone. However, picture perfection is also key, with 20% of UK travellers seeking that ultimate Instagram moment when choosing their rental option.

2. They are only in the countryside or in small towns

London is the UK’s top destination for short-term rentals and is the world favourite for business travellers. Since 2015, listings have quadrupled, with one listing now available for every 112 residents. It’s a similar story in Edinburgh, with one listing for every 42 residents.

3. The majority of short-term rental bookers come from outside the UK

With Brexit uncertainty and a weaker sterling, it comes as no surprise that more and more Brits are staying closer to home. In 2018, over 50% of UK residents booked stays within the UK. And in 2019, this trend continues as the staycation becomes ever more popular. 

4. People only book short-term rentals for weeklong stays, not mini breaks

Hosts report shorter stays in the UK, with the average stay lasting 3.6 nights. In London, this number increases slightly to 4.6 nights. A reason for this may be the popularity among business travellers who are spending more time in the capital.

5. Short-term rentals are mainly quirky houses or cottages

Currently, two thirds of alternative accommodations are one or two bed apartments. However, with the growing trend of destination holidays, travellers are now looking for that something special. In 2018, houseboat reservations went up by 40%, and treehouse bookings by 30%.

To help provide more insight into the growing alternative accommodations market, TravelClick created the Alternative Accommodations solution; a solution forms part of their Business Intelligence suite, empowering hoteliers to develop and optimize strategies for accelerated revenue and profitability.

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