Hotels

Has Airbnb reached tipping point?

The novelty of Airbnb may be wearing off, according to new figures from Morgan Stanley.

In its third AlphaWise survey, Morgan Stanley found the popularity of the home sharing start up may be waning, with Airbnb use in consumers growing by only 3.3 per cent in 2017.

While this still shows growth, the number has almost halved since 2016, which experienced a 7.9 per cent growth year-on-year.

The survey measured the responses of 4000 consumers from the UK, US, France and Germany, however discluded Australasia and Latin America.

While the numbers are still promising for Airbnb, and counting in the fact that only around two-thirds of global consumers were surveyed, the industry speculates the service is plateauing.

How you may ask?

The fact that Airbnb has now entered public consciousness, and is no longer a niche or under the radar company.

Essentially, Airbnb has now exhausted all new opportunities for growth, having tapped into, and staked out a territory in, most global markets.

According to the report, “Awareness-driven adoption can only go so far among this demographic in these countries.”

“Typically, consumers become more comfortable with emerging technologies as awareness/testing/adoption grow. This doesn’t appear to be happening for Airbnb,” it added.

Interestingly, the report found the slowing applies to both leisure and business travelers.

According to Business Travel News, business travel adoption was expected to increase from 18 per cent in 2016 to 23 per cent in 2017, however it grew just 20 per cent.

The results come hot on the heels of Airbnb Australia boss Brent Thomas calling out the Australian hotel lobby for its “draconian” legislation as the home-sharing app fails to win legal status in Australian states.

While South Australia and Tasmania recently passed laws legalising the app, others including NSW are still debating regulations.

Speaking to The Australian at the time, Thomas slammed the lobby for its backward approach to tourism which merely protects “old world vested interests”.

“We’ve applied to join Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association of Australia, and they’ve said no.

“These bodies purport to represent Australia’s tourism sector. But actually, they’re a backward-looking pocket watch brigade that are just protecting the old world big players.

Thomas also shone a light on the practices of Australian Hotels Association (AHA) chairman Martin Ferguson, who Thomas accused of changing his stance on the matter since taking on the chairman position, according to The Oz.

“It was his job was to get more people to visit Australia as the minister, and he didn’t care where they stayed.”

“Now, because he’s an advocate for the big hotel lobby, he is in effect advocating for less people to come to Australia. That’s a natural ­extension of his argument,” Thomas added.

And the war wages on!

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