According to a recent Hitwise study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%. While the latter might seem like a modest decline, consider this: Hitwise estimates that within the next 12 months, visits to residential rental sites will surpass direct visits to hotel sites. What's more, the Airbnbs of the world would appear to have potentially more favorable traffic profiles than their hotel site competitor. They are slightly less dependent on search engine traffic than hotel sites and they generate more than double and triple the traffic from social channels and email, respectively. Hitwise speculates that this "may be due to the fact that travelers seeking rentals may be emailing property links to friends" at a much higher clip, a behavior that is beneficial for rental sites for obvious reasons. Get the full story at Econsultancy