Millennials like short-term rentals but they prefer the extras offered by hotels, survey finds

  • Hugo Martin
  • Los Angeles Times
6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 Travel

Short-term rentals such as Airbnb are hugely popular, particularly with millennial travelers, who are looking for a new experience. 

But a new survey suggests that many younger travelers still prefer the safety and amenities of a hotel over a short-term rental. And with more millennials having children, that generation is likely to turn to hotels even more in the future, the study said.  

When asked the type of accommodations they prefer, 35 percent of millennials who have traveled more than 75 miles in the past year chose upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, according to a report by Resonance Consultancy, which questioned 1,548 Americans between the ages of 20 and 36.  

The second most preferred accommodation was camping with 33 percent, followed by short-term rentals in apartments or condos with 23 percent, the study found.  

Another millennial preference: They like to avoid interacting with humans when arranging a trip. That may explain why Airbnb and other short-term rental sites are so popular. Hotel operators have noticed the proclivity and many have sped up the booking and check-in process, even replacing hotel lobby workers with kiosks.  

Nearly two thirds of the millennials in the survey said they prefer booking on a travel website, with 47 percent preferring to book directly on a hotel or airline website. Only 24 percent say they prefer booking with a real-life travel agent, the study said.  

“The less-human-interaction-the-better booking experience is now evolving to front desks,” the study said. “In fact, some hotels are eliminating the front desk altogether.”