Research from the travel insights firm Hitwise saw the sharing economy as the fastest-growing travel segment with a 90% year-on-year increase in early January, equating to just over 6,000,000 visits during the key three week period after Boxing Day.

At the same time, growth in direct visits to hotel websites saw a slowdown.

Compared to aggregators and hotel direct enquiries, Airbnb attracts the youngest audience (38% aged 18-34), but has also seen a 135% growth in people aged 45-plus. The site also benefited the most from social media searches which drove 9% of clicks, compared to 4% for aggregators and 3% for direct hotel sites.

Searches with the term ‘cheap all inclusive’ fell by 8%, but those with ‘all inclusive’ (excluding cheap) grew by 45%. Terms including the word ‘luxury’ grew by 108%.

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