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Who Booked More Rooms In 2012: Hilton Or Airbnb?

December 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have you ever booked a stay through Airbnb? If yes, then skip to the next paragraph. If not, here's a quickie backgrounder: started four years ago, the vacation rental site allows travelers all over the world to book stays in other people's apartments and homes—just like a hotel room, but often much, much cheaper and a quicker way to connect with locals.

Needless to say, the company is giving hotels a serious run for their money.

How much money, you ask? A recent statistic actually found that by December 31, Airbnb (which is now available in 192 countries) will have surpassed Hilton in number of rooms booked. For evidence, see the below tweet from tech leader Tim O'Reilly:

TechCrunch goes on to deliver some stats that kind of say a lot about Airbnb's influence over the tourism market. Referencing a study conducted in November, it said:

"Airbnb guests 'helped contribute $56 million in total activity to the San Francisco economy from June 2011 to May 2012, the vast majority of which was unrelated to the money they spent on lodging.'

According to the study, guests renting apartments or lodgings through Airbnb spent $12.7 million on their accommodations, but spent an additional $43.1 million on local activities and events"

Hard to argue with numbers like those. Or the fact that Airbnb recently received a whopping $2.5 billion valuation after its most recent round of funding. That's a lot of cash for a company young enough to be Conrad Hilton's great-grandson.

But our original question still stands: Have you ever booked a night on Airbnb? Would you rate it better, worse, or about the same as a hotel experience? How do you feel about Airbnb encroaching on hotel territory? Drop your thoughts below! or send us an email!

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