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Some travelers opting for alternatives to short-term vacation rentals

While a recent study finds Airbnb bookings on the decline in some major cities, Airbnb says that its overall bookings are actually up 19%.

SAN DIEGO — With thousands of tourists spending this extended holiday weekend in San Diego, finding a place to stay can be a challenge. 

Some visitors, though, are choosing hotels over short-term vacation rental options like Airbnb.

Some cities are seeing are reportedly seeing a decline in short-term vacation rental bookings, like Orlando, New Orleans, and Austin. While demand still appears strong here in San Diego this holiday weekend, some vacationers say they are opting for other alternatives

For the Bryan family, visiting Mission Beach from Atlanta, they passed up staying in a short-term vacation rental like Airbnb or VRBO, in favor of a hotel, citing cost and convenience.

"You have a lot of amenities, and it was feasible... the budget was feasible," said Mona Bryan.

The overall price tag also persuaded one family visiting from Utah to opt for a hotel, especially when it comes to a laundry list of extra fees.

"There's a lot of cleaning fees, and sometimes when you get there, it's like... it'll be $100 a night, but then it's really $300 after you get the garbage and you have to clean up," said Kassity Kitto. 

A recent study by the market research firm All the Rooms finds that in some major cities, like Phoenix and Austin, Airbnb saw a nearly 50% decline in revenues per listing in May, compared to the same time last year.

Airbnb, though, said that those findings are not consistent with their own data, countering that more guests are traveling on Airbnb than ever before, with overall bookings up 19% in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2022.

Some tourists visiting San Diego this holiday weekend said they prefer the short-term rental option.

"I thought of a hotel. but like, I got seven dudes with me," said college student Sam Heaton, visiting from Phoenix. "Let's get a house!  Because there's just more room, it's cheaper for the size we have."

"It just feels more like a vacation home:  like home away from home rather than a hotel," added Phoenix resident Riley Baecker, who booked her Airbnb for the July Fourth holiday here in San Diego six months in advance, splitting it with a large group.

Meanwhile, Kylee Cloud waited until the last minute and said there were no short-term rentals available.

"It was just easier to book a hotel since they actually had availability," she told CBS 8. 

She also pointed out that, even with hotels, there can be resort and other types of fees.

In the meantime, Airbnb recently announced that they plan to be more transparent with any fees a host may charge. While they're not getting cheaper, at least you'll know about them before booking.

WATCH RELATED: CA lawmakers consider tax on short-term rentals (June 2023).


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