Airbnb recently scored surprise props from Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, a hotel-industry competitor. And news today about the environmental benefits of staying in shared homes versus hotels might add up to yet another W for the growing vacation-rental juggernaut.
According to a study conducted by Airbnb and Cleantech Group, travelers who stay in Airbnb properties tend to eat up less energy than traditional hotel guests. In a press release, Airbnb chief product officer and cofounder Joe Gebbia says, “In North America alone, Airbnb guests use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests — that’s enough energy to power 19,000 homes for one year.” The study also suggests that both Airbnb hosts and guests tend to be greener consumers.
Some other highlights from the study:
· In one year alone, Airbnb guests in North America saved the equivalent of 270 Olympic-sized pools of water while avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 33,000 cars on North American roads.
· Airbnb hosts also tend to engage in sustainable practices. Nearly 83 percent of Airbnb hosts in North America report owning at least one energy-efficient appliance at their property.
· When staying at an Airbnb, guests are 10-15 percent more likely to use public transportation, walk or bicycle as their primary mode of transportation than if they had stayed at a hotel.
It may not come as a huge shocker that Airbnbers tend to lean green (after all, we are living in the sharing economy). But the news that a growing sector of travelers prefers quaint and sustainable to big and consumptive is a wake-up call to the hotel biz.
Now, is that new Airbnb logo also a win? The jury is still out.
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