The rise of online accommodation agencies over recent years has almost completely changed the way that people travel. The days of booking package holidays, that included flights, transfers and accommodation, are a thing of the past and more and more travellers are going their own way and organising everything digitally. Major online booking agencies, such as Airbnb and booking.com, have created a new “peer-to-peer” way for travellers to book accommodation and local hosts to earn a living. And according to recent figures released by Eurostat business is booming, with 19 percent of accommodation now booked using these digital services.
According to 2018 survey results on the usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 19 percent of individuals in the European Union arranged accommodation (room, apartment, house, holiday cottage, etc.) via websites or apps from another private individual for private purposes in the preceding 12 months. Most of the individuals used dedicated websites or apps, but other websites or apps (including those of social networks) have also been used. These peer-to-peer services are part of the so called 'collaborative' or 'sharing economy'.
Among the EU Member States, the country with the highest proportion of individuals arranging accommodation online from another private individual in 2018 was Luxembourg (44 percent), followed by Ireland and Malta (both 26 percent). In contrast, the proportion was below 10 percent in seven Member States: Cyprus (3), the Czech Republic (5), Latvia (7), Greece, Romania, Slovenia (all 8).
It would appear from the figures that Croatians still aren’t up to speed with using online services as, at only 12 percent, they come in under the European Union average of 19 percent. However, they aren’t alone as many other Mediterranean countries, such as Portugal and Greece, are under the EU average. So the flip side of the coin the Irish, Brits and Spanish have caught onto the benefits of modern technology and frequently use digital booking agencies.