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Consumer travel trend

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One in three travelers now prefers private accommodations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) One in three travelers now prefers private accommodations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some peer-to-peer rental sites now focus on a more hotel-like experience. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some peer-to-peer rental sites now focus on a more hotel-like experience. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
There are niche platforms for gay and lesbian travelers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There are niche platforms for gay and lesbian travelers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Anyone can use Noirbnb, but it's geared toward African American travelers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Anyone can use Noirbnb, but it's geared toward African American travelers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Chances are you or someone you know has bypassed a hotel room and rented a private residence while on vacation.

The number of home-sharing websites is certainly increasing with some rental sites targeting specific demographics.

One in three travelers now prefers private accommodations.

The peer-to-peer rental market-think rental sites like Airbnb or HomeAway - is exploding. Douglas Quinby is a travel researcher.

"It was about $30, $31 billion in 2016 and we forecast that growing to almost 38 billion by the end of the decade," Quinby said.

Quinby goes on to say some sites now focus on a more hotel-like experience.

"Things like 24 by 7 check-in, virtual concierge, daily cleaning," Quinby said.

Some are even adding super soft sheets, plush pillows and other luxury treats. Other sites now target specific demographics.

"There are niche platforms for African-American travelers. There are platforms for gay and lesbian travelers," Quinby said.

Stefon Grant got into the niche business after he says he rented a home for a weekend and the neighbors called police alleging a robbery.

"We were trying to figure out what was going on," Grant said.

He says he was angry, but then laughed off the incident, taking a photo with the officer once this mishap was cleared up.

After that, Noirbnb was born. He says anyone can use the site, but it's geared toward African American travelers.

"I don't think it's so much of a separating thing as much as it is a, 'You know what? Why not create a platform for people who understand our experience and can, can really cater to that market?'" Grant said.

Quinby says he sees the value in the niche startups, but there are challenges

"Are they going to be able to build enough of a marketplace in terms of supply and demand to be really significant businesses?" Quinby said.

No matter what, Quinby says it always comes down to the basics.

"All shoppers, you want more choices, you want more options, you want better prices," Quinby said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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