Travel & Hospitality
Report: Who’s Frequenting Vacation Rentals and Why
Vacation rentals have grown in popularity but still have a long way to go to achieve equal footing with hotels.
Since the launch of Airbnb in 2008, vacation rentals have grown to be a disruptive force in the hospitality sector. And the industry has taken note — not only have new brands entered the category, but some major hotel chains have launched their own products to compete with the likes of Airbnb and VRBO.
That said, hotels are still considered the tried-and-true option for most travelers. And while perhaps vacation rental brands aren’t aiming to completely supplant hotels, the traveler type and occasions most closely aligned with short-term rentals are still somewhat niche. Vacation rental brands can address some of their perceived shortcomings to cast a wider net and drive volume with a larger group of travelers.
- Young travelers are behind vacation rentals’ popularity: Gen Zers and millennials are more likely to have booked a vacation rental than their older counterparts, and also more likely to say that vacation rentals measure up to hotels in various aspects of a stay.
- Hotels are favored for nearly all travel occasions: Aside from group and extended travel, travelers prefer hotels over vacation rentals for all trip types, suggesting significant barriers brands must address.
- Price is key in driving bookings: Vacation rentals used to be considered the cost-effective option, but now they’re perceived to be on par with or more expensive than hotels, negating a key competitive advantage.
- Vacation rentals are everywhere: While headlines tend to focus on the impact of vacation rentals on urban areas, nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults say they live close to at least some vacation rentals.
Morning Consult Research Intelligence data featured in this report draws from a survey fielded Nov. 9-11, 2023, among 2,204 U.S. adults.
All survey interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate populations of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age and race by educational attainment. Top-line results from the survey have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.
About the author
Lindsey Roeschke previously worked at Morning Consult as the lead travel & hospitality analyst.