Airbnb Community Tops $1.15 billion in Economic Activity in New York City

$235 million in economic activity generated outside Manhattan; Airbnb community members to discuss study with legislators in Albany

NEW YORK -- May 12, 2015 -- Airbnb, the world's leading community driven hospitality company, today released a new study highlighting the Airbnb community’s unprecedented economic benefit in New York City. The report, conducted by HR&A Advisors, found Airbnb generated $1.15 billion in economic activity in New York last year, including $235 million in economic activity outside of Manhattan, and supported more than 10,000 jobs. The report accounts for both direct spending and spinoff activity. Dozens of Airbnb hosts will discuss the study with legislators in Albany later today.


“This study underscores what we’ve always known: Airbnb host are regular New Yorkers who are passionate about sharing their home and their neighborhood with visitors from across the globe,” said Max Pomeranc, Airbnb’s regional head of public policy. “Airbnb is making New York more affordable for more families.”


The study found 90 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York share their primary residence, and 72 percent use that money to help pay the bills, make ends meet and stay in their homes. The typical host in New York earns about $640 per month sharing their space for 5 nights.


“More than 80 percent of Airbnb properties in New York are outside of traditional hotel districts, bringing dollars to neighborhoods that have not benefitted from tourism in the past,” said Pomeranc. “Airbnb is broadening the impact of tourism in New York and increasing the number of visitors coming to our city.”


Other highlights from the study include:

  • When guests stay locally, their money stays locally too -- 42 percent of guest spending happens in the neighborhood where they’re staying. Last year, $301 million of guest spending went directly to host households and $844 million of guest spending went to New York businesses.

  • Airbnb guests stay longer and spend more than the typical hotel guest. The average Airbnb guest in New York stays 1.9 nights more (5.8 nights total) and spends $290 more at local businesses ($1,060 total) than the typical hotel guest.

  • Airbnb is growing the city’s economy through visitor spending. Last year 760,000 visitors to New York stayed in Airbnb properties, up 84 percent from August 2012 to July 2013. Of those, more than 51,000 said they would not have stayed in the city without Airbnb.


Dozens of Airbnb hosts will share this study with state lawmakers in Albany today. The Airbnb community is committed to working together on some basic rules and will urge lawmakers to:

  • Create rules that allow New Yorkers to share only the home in which they live. Current law prevents many people from sharing their home unless they are present. The community wants to collaborate on thoughtful laws that let New Yorkers share only the home in which they live, while preventing abuse.

  • Strengthen laws that prevent illegal hotels and create tougher policies for unlicensed hotel operators.

  • Help the Airbnb community pay $65 million more in taxes. Airbnb wants to collect and remit hotel and tourist taxes in New York on behalf of hosts, but currently cannot do so. If New York changes the rules, the City and State will receive an additional $65 million in tax revenue annually.

  • Fix the law to help New Yorkers who need it most. If an apartment is rent-regulated, people are unable to share that home, even if they are present. Home sharing is an economic lifeline for thousands of New Yorkers. These people should be able to share their space as long as they do not earn more through home sharing than they pay in rent.


The study released today examined data on Airbnb rental activity in New York for the 12 month period from January 2014 to December 2014.


About Airbnb
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and over 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.