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Report: Airbnb Not Hurting Hotels Much After All

The thinking in the hotel industry is that Airbnb and other home-sharing companies like it are to be feared, because they take away customers who might otherwise stay at a Marriott, Hilton, or what have you.

According to a study by data research firm STR, hotel companies can relax (though we doubt they will). 

Comparing Airbnb and hotel data from the world's largest chains in 13 U.S. and international locations, the research found that, although the vacation-rental site has more than double the number of listings worldwide than Hilton and Marriott combined, the hotel chains' occupancy rate was considerably higher than Airbnb's in every market tested, including in Airbnb's hometown of San Francisco and especially in international cities like Mexico City and London. Additionally, hotels experienced faster growth than Airbnb in nearly every U.S. city.

Why isn't Airbnb cutting further into hotel business?

Analysts say that comparing the two is an apples-to-oranges thing. Simply put, Airbnb people aren't hotel people. They either want an experience that immerses them in local culture, are looking to stay in unconventional lodgings like treehouses and tents, or simply can't afford to stay in a hotel and will therefore only travel if they can find supercheap accommodations. 

Research seems to indicate that some customers also turn to Airbnb when hotels are full. But clearly, the hotel industry's feared Airbnb-pocalypse (Air-mageddon?) hasn't come to pass.