AirBnb-style rentals: cheapness main attraction

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HomeAway, Expedia’s AirBnb-style site, recently published an interesting survey into minpaku, private rentals.

The two types of rentals in the survey are first renting a complete dwelling, a flat or a house, and second, the more traditional B’n’B style of renting out a room in someone’s home. In Japan, the term is 民泊, minpaku, and taking the characters literally it might be something like “staying with the people”. There is a long history of minpaku, which used to be more like traditional B’n’B with all the regulation that goes with that, but now it is usually taken as referring to the probably-illegal-in-most-circumstances private rental of rooms and flats.

I am very much anti-AirBnB; traditional B’n’Bs have many regulations covering them, including the obvious one of insurance for guests, but most net-based rentals turn a blind eye on these regulations, and renting out complete units in blocks of flats can often cause friction with the neighbours due to guests being unfamiliar or just ignoring the social norms that apply in Japanese shared accommodation.

Research results

Q1: Have you ever used minpaku? (Sample size=400, multiple answer)

 Yes
Domestic dwelling rental15.0%
Overseas dwelling rental14.8%
Domestic room rental15.3%
Overseas room rental15.0%

Q2: Would you like to stay at a minpaku in the future? (Sample size=400, multiple answer)

 Yes
Domestic dwelling rental41.0%
Overseas dwelling rental40.5%
Domestic room rental26.3%
Overseas room rental28.3%

Q3: What is your image of minpaku? (Sample size=400, multiple answer)

Q3A: Preferred length of stay

 Short stayLong stay
Dwelling rental46%54%
Room rental66%34%

Q3B: Preferred for solo or group travel

 SoloGroup
Dwelling rental53%47%
Room rental77%23%

Q4: What reasons do you have for wanting to/not wanting to stay at a minpaku? (Sample size=400, multiple answer, top five)

Q4A: Want to stay at dwelling rental

Cheap47%
Good cost/performance ratio39%
Want to stay somewhere I wouldn’t normally stay29%
Can get the exclusive use of a great dwelling29%
Convenient for a long stay28%

Q4B: Don’t want to stay at dwelling rental

Worried about the security aspect48%
May be a bother to deal with the owner32%
No reception to call up when there’s a problem30%
Dwelling may be dirty23%
May not have privacy22%

Q4C: Want to stay at a room rental

Cheap40%
Can get to know the locals38%
Want to stay somewhere I wouldn’t normally stay36%
Good cost/performance ratio30%
Can use when I cannot find a hotel20%

Q4D: Don’t want to stay at a room rental

May be a bother to deal with the owner51%
May not have privacy40%
Worried about the security aspect38%
No reception to call up when there’s a problem21%
Room may be dirty18%

Q5: In which areas might you want to stay at a minpaku? (Sample size=400, multiple answer, top five)

Q5A: Dwelling rental

Domestic hideaway (Karuizawa, etc)33%
Domestic beach (Okinawa, etc)27.8%
Hawaii23.5%
Domestic countryside (Yamanashi, Nagano, etc)22.8%
Domestic hot springs resort (Kusatsu, Hakone, etc)20.8%

Q5B: Room rental

Domestic countryside (Yamanashi, Nagano, etc)17.3%
Domestic non-touristy location17%
Domestic beach (Okinawa, etc)16.8%
Domestic hideaway (Karuizawa, etc)16.3%
Hawaii, European city14.3%

Demographics

At some point in time, 400 people of both sexes and aged between 20 and 69 years old who had taken an overseas holiday in the last year completed an internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

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