The demo that will spend $200 billion in 2018 alone overwhelmingly prefers full-service hotels. It’s just one of the surprises in our new ‘Future of U.S. Millennial Travel’ Report.

By Chris Fair

When you attempt to measure the travel sentiment of a diverse demographic like industry-disrupting, mobile U.S. Millennials, there are bound to be plenty of surprises.

Our free 70-page consumer research report is packed with myth-busting revelations and blueprints for capturing America’s fastest growing tourism demographic.

One of the biggest, however, is the the fact that this massive consumer demo—the one projected to have $200 billion in spending this year alone—overwhelmingly prefers full-service hotels to short-term apartment rentals by a margin of more than 2-to-1.

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You read that right: U.S. travelers between the ages of 20 and 36 years (the ones featured in all that Airbnb marketing over the past year—on TV, Instagram and even the company’s own magazine) prefer a licensed, staffed hotel to an Airbnb rental. This despite the home-sharing service’s continued increase in capacity in 65,000 cities and rising valuation in advance of an imminent IPO.

Our report surveyed more than 1,600 active U.S. Millennial travelers and found that despite 52% of respondents saying they regularly or occasionally use owner-direct rental services like Airbnb, it is actually among their least-preferred choices in terms of accommodation.

In fact, only 23% said that a short-term apartment and/or condo rental was their preferred type of accommodation.

After a full-service hotel as their first choice, Millennial traveler respondents cited staying with friends/family as their second choice, followed by a stay at an all-inclusive resort. Roughly a third of Millennial travelers prefer upscale and luxury hotels/resorts (35%), followed by camping (33%).

U.S. Millennial accommodation preferences

Resonance Consultancy’s findings in the 2018 Future of Millennial Travel Report are contrary to the prevailing belief that hotels are in trouble with younger travelers who prefer, in the parlance of Airbnb’s recent award-winning ad campaign, to “Live there. Even if it’s just for a night.”

The appetite amongst the Millennial travelers we surveyed for staying at Airbnb properties is surprisingly low. Airbnb has become synonymous with accessible, affordable travel and the company’s app is ubiquitous on Millennials’ phones from coast to coast. Not to mention the demographic’s pervasiveness in the company’s marketing collateral.

So despite the seeming crisis faced by hotels, our report profiles how traditional accommodations are evolving faster than ever to prepare for the decentralized, people-powered future of travel accommodations spawned by the sharing economy in general.

A chapter in the report titled “The Millennial Hotel (Or Whatever It Is),” surfaces the latest hotel and resort innovations by legacy brands and new entrants, ranging from increasingly generous loyalty programs that feed social media braggery, to using the lobby as a public salon. To say nothing of all the robots.

Get your free Future of Millennial Travel Report now.


Can you afford to ignore a $200-billion opportunity? We didn’t think so. Join us at NeueHouse in New York City to hear the exclusive insights from our report, plus guest speakers like hotel architects Albo Liberis and Beautiful Destinations co-founder Jeremy Jauncey.

Attendees receive a limited-edition printed report, plus the full data of our U.S. Millennial research. Book your early bird rate of $399 before Feb. 1.