Times, since the very first occurrences of web design in the 90’s, have changed a lot design-wise. The particular technology and its applications got more stable. Human-computer interaction (HCI) was deeply researched, designers enlarged their understanding of it. Users have updated their expectations on what the web experience should feel like.
This is the evolutionary path of a tech that becomes widely available and used worldwide. It seems like those who didn’t manage to evolve accordingly in this volatile digital ecosystem were naturally pushed sideways. Of course, that also goes for poorly designed websites — that result in substandard experiences.
There is a reason you are not familiar with many -maybe not even one- of Airbnb’s competitors. The renting/booking marketplace “giant” has thrived in the global market for a decade and still hasn’t found anyone that can stand up to it.
A considerable amount of that success derives from the ongoing effort of Airbnb’s design team to create a user experience for its booking platform which surpasses that of other similar services.