On the issue of cannibalization, the researchers found that in some markets where demand is more seasonal, hotel prices and quality are relatively lower, and the fraction of leisure travelers is higher, consumers can be more likely to choose Airbnb, which places competitive pricing pressure on hotels.

To date, Airbnb sales are largely derived from leisure travelers who make up 90 percent of Airbnb sales. As the company targets the business travel marketplace, the researchers found that high-end hotels are likely to be most affected, primarily due to the higher or lower operating costs faced by Airbnb hosts in their markets.

Related: Homesharing: Marriott vs. Airbnb