Surprise! New study shows Airbnb is not the preferred accommodation amongst North America’s millennials

Nearly every travel provider has spent the last few years attempting to decipher the travel preferences of Millennials. But new research by consultancy Resonance has uncovered a surprising finding – the most preferred type of accommodations for that age group is full service hotels or resorts.

The company’s findings – based on surveys conducted across North America in Mar-2017 of more than 1,500 respondents aged from 20 to 36 – showed roughly one-third, or 35% of Millennial travellers prefer upscale and luxury hotels followed by camping (33%) and apartments or condos (23%).

“The appetite for staying at Airbnb properties is surprisingly low, given the ubiquity of the company’s app on Millennials’ phones from coast to coast,” according to Resonance.

However, the study’s authors stressed Millennials don’t totally eschew home sharing. More than half the survey respondents, 52%, stated they regularly or occasionally use owner-direct services such as Airbnb. But those home sharing options are their least preferred choices in accommodation.

More traditional hotels are no doubt encouraged by these findings, but there’s no time for those companies to rest on their laurels.

“Hotels have been dissecting the empowered, confident Millennial travellers for the past few years and are going all in with new properties and pivots with legacy ones,” Resonance stated.

Hilton has created “Tru”, which is a new hotel brand aimed at young and frugal travellers. The Resonance study stated Tru has already become Hilton’s fastest growing brand in the company’s portfolio.

Tru’s product attributes include replacing a traditional restaurant with “Eat & Sip”, which is a 24-hour market featuring local snacks and drinks, including beer and wine. The hotel’s lobby features pool, foosball and board games in addition to quieter spots with power and USB outlooks, free coffee and wireless printing.

“By opening up entire lobbies as business centers, hotels are already heeding Millennial preferences surfaced in our study,” said Resonance. Roughly 21% of respondents identified a dedicated space to work, such as business center, as a desirable amenity. Valet parking is also a lower priority for Millennials. The company’s research showed only 25% of survey participant placed a value on that particular perk.

Overall, the study’s findings show hotels “still have time to evolve to avoid becoming the dinosaurs that some expect them to become,” Resonance stated. “The runway for pivoting is quite generously long…”.