Airbnb's global bookings will surge about 70% this year to $12.3 billion, Cowen & Co. analysts Kevin Kopelman and James Sullivan wrote in a note to clients Monday.

The analysts also said Airbnb's booked room nights this year will increase to more than half of three industry giants: Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Expedia Inc.

Citing its poll of 1,400 U.S. travelers, the analysts said the growth of the peer-to-peer lodging service posed more of a threat to hotel owners than to OTAs, noting that Airbnb's growth may force hotel companies to be more reliant on OTAs to sell room inventory.

The 62-page report is especially topical, as the growth of closely held Airbnb, which doesn't disclose revenue figures, has been a bone of contention to hotel lobbyists and some municipalities who say the service encourages property owners to turn apartment buildings into illegal, de-facto hotels that aren't subject to the same regulations as hotels and don't pay their share of occupancy taxes.

The analysts estimate that Airbnb will reach 135 million room nights this year, and forecasted that the total will surge to about 500 million in 2020. By comparison, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Expedia each booked about 200 million room nights last year.

With such continued growth, Airbnb, which has made its greatest impact in urban areas, is generating about half of its room nights "direct at the expense of hotels," wrote the analysts. As a result, Airbnb will cut U.S. hotel room night growth to 1.2% a year during the next decade from the 2% it would've been without Airbnb. Additionally, Airbnb's inventory prevents hotels from driving up room rates, during particularly busy nights.

Conversely, Airbnb is less likely to have a negative impact on OTAs, which are already taking distribution share from hotel companies and are likely to generate further growth as hotels doing battle with Airbnb become more dependent on OTAs.

As a result, Airbnb's share of U.S. hotel and short-term rentals will surge to 13% in 2025, up from 2.3% this year.

"Airbnb's projected growth is set to exceed that of hotel room night demand growth materially, and the incremental loss of demand can only intensify the negative trends for the industry," wrote the analysts. "Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor are making significant investments in short-term rentals, and 72% of Airbnb customers in our survey showed a willingness to try Airbnb competitors."


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