The hospitality industry has been changing a lot since the pandemic. Not only the business model but also travelers’ experiences. For years, Airbnb has been a disruptive company that offers great and cheaper solutions for travelers, but this has changed, and guests no longer feel as safe and welcome as they used to.
Renting a vacation stay on Airbnb was a great alternative to hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid large crowds and for workcation experiences. But prices have significantly increased—a 37% increase in 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2019— and travelers are seriously considering hotels as better and even cheaper alternatives.
In a recent viral tweet, writer Jeremy Gordon said that he stayed at a Holiday Inn instead of an Airbnb, and he considered it a glamorous experience. The amusing tweet had hundreds of comments—and complaints— from users. The discontent is not new. Many travelers have been disapproving of Airbnb’s services for a long time now.
Decided to stay in a Holiday Inn instead of an Airbnb for an overnight trip and strongly feel, one hour after check-in, that there has never been a more luxurious experience in all of human history— Jeremy Gordon (@jeremypgordon) January 7, 2023
Why are travelers showing a preference for hotels? Here are a few of the main reasons why travelers are no longer considering Airbnb as the best accommodation option in 2023:
Hosts’ Cleaning requests
Just a few months ago, users raged all over the internet to complain about demanding hosts forcing guests to clean before departure while still paying costly cleaning fees. One guest, Necole Kane, said that during her vacation in Arizona, the host had her complete a long chore list after she had already paid a $375 cleaning fee. By the time she finished all the tasks, Necole was late for a tour she had booked. After all that headache, is it really a vacation anymore?
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Last year, the average cleaning fee on Airbnb in the United States was $143, and many hosts are requesting travelers not only wash the dishes but also clean, sweep, and take care of the linens. Guests are not happy and are getting tired of working during their vacations.
Missing Items And Unexpected Situations
Will you find enough toilet paper or towels? This is never a question when staying at a hotel, but a frequent one when staying at an Airbnb. Each host has their own rules regarding hospitality, so travelers usually have to be prepared to run to the grocery store upon arrival when reality does not meet their basic demands.
Check-in and check-out are also usually a mystery and can be stressful. Will your host be there by the time you arrive? Will you have to meet them and make small talk after a long flight? Will you have to wait for them to open the door? Will you find the hidden key? A Tiktok user recently went viral after describing the check-in experience as being in a show called “home invaders.”
hotels vs airbnbs♬ original sound – matt buechele
Privacy And Hidden Cameras Concerns
Security has been a major concern for Airbnb users. A few months ago, a survey revealed that 58% of guests were concerned about hidden cameras in their Airbnbs, and many travelers have found them in their temporary homes.
Airbnb’s policy states that security cameras are allowed as long as they are disclosed on the listing and cannot be placed in private areas like the bedroom or the bathroom. But how can travelers know if they are being recorded? How much privacy do they really have? What about remote workers who need to protect their company’s information? There are many gray areas, and the topic has aroused debate.
Hotels And Airbnbs
Airbnb has made changes to optimize its services, like updating its platform to show cleaning and other fees in the final price, as many travelers were complaining that the final price was higher than the one featured on the feed. However, prices sometimes are still high and comparable to hotel prices.
Hotels do not make guests clean up before departure, and some travelers are reconnecting to hotel services and describing them as “luxurious” and more relaxing than Airbnb. Now large hotel chains like Marriott are launching new products and services to compete against Airbnb and offer guests the best of both worlds.
There are still great Airbnb listings and many options on the platform, and the company is making major efforts to become digital nomads’ preferred option, but travelers must consider all pros and cons before booking their stay in 2023.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Monday 16th of January 2023
From 2020 through 2022 I stayed in different airbnbs in Mexico between Playa del carmen and Merida and there was always something wrong and in a lot of instances it was extremely difficult to reach a resolution or to be compensated although proof was always provided. One Airbnb I stayed in the lights, air conditioner and wifi was controlled digitally (some what of a smart home) The owner was switching the lights, wifi and air conditioner off whenever he felt like it, this experience was terrifying. Leaving us with no way to communicate or get help and although I had international calling on my phone I couldn't get a signal. I always felt like I was being watched in that airbnb. One night we had to make a dash for a hotel because we were concerned about our safety and then we came back the next day for our belongings. This is just one of my many horror stories from my many stays in airbnb. This was not the only issue at this listing (this incident was never resolved although I provided airbnb with proof). Going forward I will be searching for other accommodations outside of airbnb. When traveling things won't always be perfect or always go as planned but for me there have been to many issues with airbnb and my safety and peace mind comes first.
Monday 16th of January 2023
We had a horrible experience at an Airbnb in Guadalajara, Mexico November. The first line of the as was "Casa Coronado is a private space. You will have the entire property to yourself." This was a complete lie. Not only was the property part of a tall condo complex next door where everyone used your gate to access but directly across the hall from your door was a condo where the owner threw wild drug-fueled drunken parties that caused the police to come. Airbnb, of course, sided with the host that the lie was not really a "lie." On top of that, when we booked it, the host sent the usual welcoming package with the code to the lockbox. When we arrived, the code didn't work. After two hours of back and forth of badly auto translated messages with the host, we determined they had sent a new code two hours AFTER check in time and while we were on an airplane with our phones off. We will NEVER use Airbnb again
Monday 16th of January 2023
Never had any issue with hosts. But Airbnb fees are ridiculous and their woke bs is annoying.
Monday 16th of January 2023
I just had an issue with Airbnb, after paying for my stay (4 weeks) I received the House Rules, one of them was a 3 day advance booking to use the pool. When we got to the unit, an entire place with 3 bedrooms, we realized that 2 bedrooms were locked. It was late at night so we messaged the next day and found out that to use a second bedroom would cost us $900 after discussion the price was lowered to $800 and then $400 at which point I tried to contact Airbnb Support. To make a long story short it took 8 days for them to agree with us and by that time we had pay the host an extra $270 because of my health I needed that second bedroom. So now the cost is similar if not higher then an apart-hotel suite (with complete kitchen) where I had stayed several time in the days before Airbnb. So it is my last stay a a Airbnb, their support staff are useless. Two more things, only Netflix and YouTube on the tv and the host works for Airbnb Support...
Sunday 15th of January 2023
This article is odd. I'm not sure it adds value to a potential Airbnb customer nor does it help any of the decent Airbnb hosts that do exist.
I don't understand why guests would complain about the rules. It's an Airbnb, not a Marriott.
As for the hosts? If the Airbnb platform doesn't support you as a host, then find another platform. You have choices too. But if you agree with Airbnb then I don't blame you for enforcing rules that allow your guests, and your property, to be clean, safe and welcoming.
EVERYTHING is going to cost more in 2023. It will not surprise me if every business out there has new fees for absolutely everything and requires you to jump through more hoops to purchase a product or service.
The businesses that innovate and adapt to market demand have a better chance of staying relevant. But it is the customer who votes with their $$ that determine who will ultimately win.
If you had a bad Airbnb experience, then move on and pick somewhere else to stay. Put your money where you think it will be best.
Full disclosure. I will be staying in my first Airbnb this weekend. I already know the cleaning fee up front, but we'll see how the check-in and check out processes go!
Monday 27th of March 2023
@Jane, we are Hosts as well. No to do list and a $30.00 cleaning fee is all we charge. We had guests fake service dogs and smuggle in cats. Our listing is strictly no pets, in order to provide a safe environment for guests with pet allergies. We love to host and go the extra mile for our guests. We love to meet our guests given a chance. We are respectful if a guest seeks privacy.
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
@Troy M, you are an entitled host. You are the type of person who ruined AirBNB. There should be no rules beyond what AirBNB provides. It is unacceptable to try to change the rules after booking. This is exactly why I stopped using AirBNB (that and insane cleaning fees where I have to do the cleaning).
Tuesday 17th of January 2023
@Troy M, We have been using AirBnB since 2020 and (knock on wood) we have not had any problems! We had 2 places booked in Florida in May 2020 when COVID hit.... no problem AirBnB actually contacted us to see if we needed to cancel and all money promptly refunded. Since then we have not traveled outside our own Country (Canada) and have been using the AirBnB platform in our own province. in 2020 we booked two AirBnB getaways - they were great especially during extreme times of COVID as we had our very own place (nobody around) not having to meet people in the hallway or elevator. Same in 2021 - we booked 3 AirBnB vacays. Also in 2022 be booked 4 AirBnB getaways and now have already booked 3 stays for the upcoming summer months. We always book "out of the way" cottages on lakes or ocean, so not really "hotel/motel" places. All places are just us!!! We have been able to stay in different parts of our province (some place names we had never heard of before (by husband having lived here for 70+ years)!! I always use the AirBnB platform as I find it very easy to navigate. We usually know what we are looking for and very easy to find it using their navigating tools. Yes prices have gone up (but what hasn't)!!!! Some places we have stayed at did not have a cleaning fee but some did. Because so many people are "so upset" having to pay a cleaning fee some hosts are opting to include it in their nightly price!!!! We have also never been asked to do "excess" cleaning before our departure, but we do always leave the place neat and tidy, no dirty dishes, no stinky garbage, etc.
I don't know about other countries and/or provinces but this year beginning in July AirBnB had to start collecting taxes on AirBnB rentals - which they have never had to do before so that in itself adds to the total price. If you stay a hotel you pay tax so I am not surprised by having to pay tax on an AirBnB stay. Our stays are always 4 to 7 nights so in most cases we do not find the cleaning fee exorbitant (it is per stay NOT per night .. but staying one night in most cases it would be the same $ amount and people get pissed because they think it is per night. A one night.. or even maybe a two night stay may not be feasible for an AirBnB rental but I believe for longer stays it certainly is worth it - who wants to stay in one room for a week!!!! We always have 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, living room, TV, 1 and sometimes 2 bathrooms, along with great outdoor space with some type of water access and usually a fire pit. These things you do not get with a Hotel/motel stay.
People bitch and complain about the cost of AirBnB's - if you don't like it don't use it!!!!!! That simple. I can always find something within my budget and have choices.
I hope you enjoy your AirBnB experience... I am so glad it has changed the way we travel - especially now with the mess the airlines are in!!! We get in our own car and come and go where ever and whenever we want on our own terms.