Share This! Europe: Private Accommodation and the New Rental Traveler

Share This! Europe: Private Accommodation and the New Rental Traveler Published February 2015 Analysts: Douglas Quinby, Bing Liu


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Alternative accommodations have been revolutionizing the travel industry over the past decade. First, HomeAway became the world's leading online vacation rental listing, upending traditional vacation rental management companies. Then, Airbnb disrupted HomeAway's marketplace by offering cheap stays to thrifty travelers – with online transactions built into its model.

Phocuswright's Share This! Europe: Private Accommodation and the New Rental Traveler provides deeper insight into European rental travelers – to assess who they are, how they travel, what they want, and how they shop and book. This study examines the potential overlap between the rental and hotel markets, including the extent to which renters consider and stay in hotels, as well as whether non-renters consider private accommodation. The analysis also looks at emerging trends among rental travelers in terms of demographics, travel behavior and use of consumer technology.  

Topics include: 

  • The size of the private accommodation market
  • Analysis of traveler attitudes, traveler intentions, frequency of leisure trips and travel party composition by traveler type
  • Booking methods by renter type, country and age
  • Insight into the drivers for choosing a rental over a hotel by renter type and country
  • Use of online features during travel planning by traveler type

Purchase Phocuswright’s Share This! Europe: Private Accommodations and the New Rental Traveler for insight into Europe’s booming rental market and the type of traveler these accommodations draw.


  • Overview and Methodology
    • Europe’s Changing Rental Landscape
    • Key Findings
      • Europe’s private accommodation market is significantly larger than the U.S. one and is especially popular with millennials.
      • Renters travel more and spend more.
      • Rental preferences vary greatly by market.
      • The market for shared space rentals is significant.
      • A new generation of tech-savvy young adults is transforming Europe’s private accommodation landscape.
      • Rentals versus hotels: There is a core group of European travelers that only stay in hotels.
      • Digital is on the rise, but more renters still book offline.
    • Methodology
  • Rentals and Renters
  • Europe’s New Gen Renters and Space Renters
  • Rentals vs. Hotels
    • Travelers Who Do Not Rent
    • Why Renters Rent
  • Shopping and Booking
    • How Renters Plan Travel
    • What Renters Want Online
    • Book This!

Phocuswright fielded an online survey June 26-July 2, 2014 through Global Market Insite, Inc., targeting the general French, German and U.K. adult populations that have Internet access and travel for leisure.

To qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to indicate having taken at least one overnight leisure trip that included paid accommodations at least 100 kilometers from home and/or taken flights/rail for leisure travel in the past 12 months. An additional screener required consumers to have played an active role in planning their leisure trips. Respondents who qualified are referred to as "French/German/U.K. travelers." Paid accommodations include hotels and other nightly priced lodging products, as well as timeshares and vacation rentals. The term "lodging" is used in this report to refer to the broad range of paid accommodations.

Phocuswright received 3,461 qualified responses (France: 1,084; Germany: 1,323; U.K.: 1,054) and the respondent pool can be projected with confidence to the adult population with Internet access. Travel incidence levels were calculated based on the responses of 6,494 adults.  The error interval for analysis of the traveler population within each individual country is +/-3.0% for France, +/-2.7% for Germany and +/-3.1% for the U.K. at a 95% confidence level. 

Phocuswright identified "rental travelers" as those qualified travelers who also rented a home, flat, villa, cottage or shared space (room or quarters within a private home or flat). Of the 3,461 qualified traveler responses, 1,322 qualified as renters (France: 423; Germany: 519; U.K.: 380).

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