New Study: Airbnb Community Generates $51 Million in Economic Impact in Boston

Home sharing helps residents stay in their homes, Guests spend more time and money in local neighborhoods

SAN FRANCISCO – December 19, 2014 – Airbnb, the world’s leading marketplace to list, discover and book unique, local accommodations, today released a new study highlighting the Airbnb community’s positive economic, social, and environmental impacts in Boston. Conducted in conjunction with Land Econ Group, the study found that the Airbnb community generated $51 million in economic activity in Boston in one year and supported 490 jobs.

“More than half of Airbnb hosts in Boston say that home sharing has helped them stay in their homes,” said Airbnb Public Policy Manager Max Pomeranc. “And these hosts live in more than 25 different neighborhoods across the city, allowing travelers from around the world to explore places where they might have never otherwise spent their time and money.”

From July 2013 through June 2014, 1,080 Boston hosts welcomed guests into their homes. The study found that over seventy percent of guests were drawn to Airbnb because they wanted to stay in a specific neighborhood, with the overwhelming majority traveling with family. On average, Airbnb guests also stay longer during their stay in Boston than traditional leisure travelers.

“Seventy percent of Airbnb properties in Boston are located outside of the traditional hotel neighborhoods,” said Bill Lee, Senior Partner at Land Econ Group. “This creates an opportunity for families in diverse neighborhood throughout the city to benefit from tourism, and extends the economic impacts to the surrounding local businesses.”

By helping residents share their homes, Airbnb also promotes an environmentally sustainable way of traveling, resulting in a significant reduction in energy, water use and waste generation. Additionally, by sharing their homes with guests, Airbnb hosts participate in an ongoing cultural exchange with people from around the world, building community and strengthening understanding across the city.                                                                         

Other highlights from the study include:

  • The overwhelming majority of Boston hosts rent out only the home in which they live and use the supplemental income they earn to help make ends meet.  

  • The typical Airbnb host in Boston earns $8,020 per year by renting their home occasionally, and 53 percent of hosts say this income has helped them stay in their homes.

  • One third of Airbnb hosts are non-traditionally employed, with 12% saying that income from hosting has allowed them to support themselves while freelancing and 14 percent saying they have used the income to support themselves while starting a new business.

  • There are Airbnb properties in more than 25 neighborhoods across Boston. 73% of guests say they were drawn to Airbnb because they wanted to stay in a specific neighborhood, and 84% of guests are looking to “live like a local.”     

  • 95% of all trips to Boston involve families traveling with partners, children, relatives or friends.         

  • Airbnb guests in Boston stay an average of 3.9 nights, compared to typical leisure visitors who stay an average of 2.5 nights. Without Airbnb as an accommodation option, 30% of guests say they would not have visited Boston, or not have stayed as long.                   

  • By staying in Airbnb properties, Airbnb guests to Boston over a one year period resulted in an estimated energy savings equivalent to 220 homes, greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 380 cars, and waste reduction of 70 metric tons.                          

  • Over 40% of Airbnb guests visiting Boston are international, and 23% of Airbnb guests do not speak English as their primary language. In the past year, this resulted in hosts engaging with guests who spoke more than twenty different languages.

  • 48% of hosts say home sharing has positively affected the way they interact with their community.

The study released today examined data on Airbnb rental activity in Boston for the 12 months from July 2013 through June 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 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.