Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, announced over 3 billion guest arrivals across all property offerings since 2007, with 750 million of those guests arriving at alternative accommodations including homes, apartments and other unique places to stay.
In the same timeframe, over 400 cities around the world have each welcomed over a million guest arrivals with Booking.com, with 29 cities bringing in over 10 million guests, including Rome, London, Dubai, Melbourne, Marrakech and Kuala Lumpur.
Pioneering the alternative accommodation space and welcoming the first apartment to its platform in 2000, the first chalet in 2005, first hotel boat in 2006 and first riad in August 2007, today, Booking.com offers over 28 million total reported listings for travelers to choose from in over 148,000 destinations in over 220 countries and territories worldwide.
Some of Booking.com’s longest standing and truly unique listings globally include Residence Arco Plage, a beautiful holiday home in Olmeto, France and Lakeside Town Farm, a cozy self-catering cabin in the middle of a 300-acre working farm in the UK. Both properties have been welcoming Booking.com guests since 2005, while properties like Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps in Kruger National Park, South Africa which offers luxury tents with contemporary design steps from Africa’s stunning wildlife, have been welcoming Booking.com’s more adventurous customers for over a decade.
“It’s humbling to look back at how far we’ve come, growing together with amazing accommodation providers across the globe to unleash the inner explorer in travelers looking to experience the world,” said Olivier Grémillon, Vice President at Booking.com. “It’s also exciting to look ahead to what the future of travel will bring as new destinations emerge, technology evolves and travelers’ appetites for discovery and exploration only increase. Approximately 40 percent of our active customers booked an alternative accommodation property at some point over the past 12 months. Unique stay experiences will continue to be at the heart of tomorrow’s travel, even more so than today.”
Ensuring they feel at home even in the most far flung corners of the world could not be more important for travelers today, with hosts and operators playing a significant role in achieving this. Notably, research from Booking.com conducted with over 21,500 global travelers found that almost two-thirds (63%) believe their stay has been improved by the person managing their accommodation going above and beyond, and 62% appreciating being able to take advantage of ‘insider’ knowledge from local accommodation hosts and providers.
Increasing traveler demand for alternative types of accommodation was also borne out in this year’s Booking.com Guest Review Awards, where nearly three quarters (73%) of all the winning properties were homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, including everything from boats and igloos to homestays and country houses.
Apartments were the top-awarded accommodation type for the second year in a row, continuing to hold off the hotels category, and making up more than a third (36%) of the award-winning properties globally. Also for a second consecutive year in 2018, four out of the five top-awarded accommodation types were alternative accommodation options: Apartments (269,649), Hotels (148,913), Guest houses (78,574), B&Bs (66,697), and Holiday Homes (56,303).
With the support of the Guest Review Awards and recent research by Booking.com, the ongoing appreciation and interest from travelers to experience a wide variety of unique stay experiences is borne out in the platform’s landmark guest arrivals released today. From once-in-a-lifetime stays like The House of Sparkle in London, The Unicorn House in Milan and Kevin Hart’s Tiny House in New York City, to re-living student days at historic Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, counting the stars at Hasan Zawaideh Camp in Wadi Rum, soaking up the sun at The Bali Dream Villa Seminyak and exploring the fjords at Orca Island Cabins in Seward, Alaska, the possibilities are endless.
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