Airbnb Needs a New Direction – The Compass Points to Millennial Business Travelers

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By Max

Airbnb, the online marketplace for short-term private rentals, has launched a global creative advertising review to help them achieve their next phase of growth – and they’ve been growing quickly. Tapping the market of budget and quality-conscious travelers, Airbnb properties have been successfully luring away travelers from hotels. HVS, a hospitality consulting firm, estimated a loss of $450 Million in direct revenues per year, all because of Airbnb.But to grow more, Airbnb may need to tap a new market of travelers.

Their current audience is 57% female, the majority between the ages of 45-69 years old, with modest incomes that in no way hinder their desire for adventure. This demographic typically travels for pleasure.

But business travelers might just be the expansion Airbnb needs.

Millennial business travelers, specifically.

millennial business travelers free infographic analysis



Meet the Millennial Business Person

This demographic couldn’t be more different than Airbnb’s current customer base in many ways. Millennial business people, between the ages of 18-34, are male and female in nearly equal numbers, single, and about half have children, half don’t. They’re young and relatively unencumbered, and place high priority on their jobs as a means of personal fulfillment.

Like Airbnb’s current audience, they’re economical travelers, preferring destinations that deliver more value for dollar, even if it takes them off the beaten path (the Millennial business person’s top destinations are Colombia and Portugal, for instance). Money is a key theme for this group – Millennial business people over-index on finance apps that help them watch and allocate every penny. But that doesn’t mean they’ll go for the cheapest deal every time.

They spend money where it counts.

On organic food, for example (for the female half of the Millennial business people demographic).

airbnb target market analysis


Or boutique hotels – one of their favorite brands is Hotel Indigo, a chain of boutique hotels that are each designed specific to their locations.

Boutique hotel patrons are looking for authentic experiences – and when you add that in with the budget-conscious characteristic, Airbnb properties become real competition.

Interestingly, the Millennial business people don’t rank high as travel lovers in the same way that Airbnb’s current audience does. They travel when they need to, and if they travel purely for fun, it’s more likely to be to an amusement park. But this group is known for blending business with pleasure, tending to spend more company money than their Gen X and Baby Boomer colleagues to get higher-value experiences.

As Fast Company put it, “millennials prioritize value and experiences, and they bring this mentality to business travel.” And because of this perspective, they’re more likely to alter their business travel plans to make each trip a more enriching experience – which makes them ideal for Airbnb’s unique offerings.

airbnb business traveler audience infographic


Sure, everyone wants a piece of the giant-and-growing Millennial market. But Airbnb is well positioned to take the lead with this group. They bring unique, authentic experiences together with better value, which is something both Millennials and their current consumer base can get behind.

For more insights on Airbnb, the current state of the travel industry, and the Millennial business people consumer segment, check out our latest Pitch Brief!


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Topics: Knowledge; Infographic; New Business Pitch