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Airbnb rentals almost as expensive as hotels bookings, new data finds


When Airbnb first launched 14 years ago, it changed the way many people book their vacations as they travel locally and around the world.

While it is usually cheaper to stay in an Airbnb rather than a traditional hotel, new research has found that gap is closing.

“Prices are noticeably higher then they were pre-pandemic for both hotels and Airbnbs," said Loren Christie, a travel expert, who monitors vacation pricing.

Recent figures from two companies involved in tracking short-term rentals and hotels stays, STR and AirDNA found that using an Airbnb is almost as expensive as booking a hotel room.

The price per night in July for an Airbnb in Toronto for a one-bedroom unit was $214 dollars while a hotel room was $247, a difference of $33 dollars.

The research also found over the past three years, short-term rentals increased in price by about 44 per cent, while hotel rooms increased by 24 per cent.

Christie says comparing hotel stays with an Airbnb stay is not necessarily a fair comparison as they are both different kinds of travel experiences.

"Airbnb’s value proposition was never that it was cheaper than hotels, it was that it is a different experience and a different way to experience a destination,” Christie said.

CTV News Toronto reached out to Airbnb, which took issue with the data that came up with the figures comparing Airbnb to hotels.

“Since 2019, the Average Daily Rate in Toronto on Airbnb has risen less than 15 per cent … whereas the global average daily rate on Airbnb increased 40 per cent comparing the same period,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“These sites do not have access to Airbnb booking data. Regarding cost, one of the main reasons guests in Canada book Airbnb in 2021 is to save money and for a private space. A 2021 survey showed that approximately 38 per cent of guests decided to stay on Airbnb to save costs and more than half of guests wanted an Airbnb listing for a private space for them and their guests.”

Christie said if you're planning a trip, a hotel might be a good option for one type of stay while a short term rental may be better for another.

"My personal rule of thumb if I’m going away for a weekend with friends or another couple is I prefer to stay in a hotel room, but if I’m going on a longer vacation and want to make some meals I prefer an Airbnb," Christie said.

The data for short-terms rentals also did not include service and cleaning fees, which can add as much as another 15 per cent to the total bill.

After almost two years of staying home due to the pandemic, many people are ready to travel and that has driven up the costs of hotel rooms and short-term rentals, however, Christie says if demand drops in the years ahead, prices may also come down. Top Stories

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