New Study: Airbnb Community Generates $61 Million in Economic Activity in Portland

Supports 660 Jobs, Helps Residents Pay Bills, Stay in their Homes

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 impact in Portland. Conducted in conjunction with Land Econ Group, the study found Airbnb generated $61 million in economic activity in Portland in one year and supported 660 jobs.

This news follows Airbnb’s announcement last month of Portland as the first Shared City. As part of this partnership, Airbnb will be expanding its community’s positive impact in Portland by collaborating on campaigns to attract sustainable forms of tourism, send visitors to local businesses, and support disaster relief programs. Airbnb will also collect and remit taxes to the city of Portland on behalf of its hosts and make it easy for Portland hosts to donate the money they earn from Airbnb to a local cause, matching those donations as a percentage of its fees.

“Portland residents use Airbnb to help afford their homes, pursue their dreams, and share the city they love with the world,” said Airbnb Director of Civics Molly Turner. “Portlanders have long-embraced sharing, and this study shows the positive impacts they can distribute across the city. We look forward to building on these impacts through our Shared City initiative with Portland.”

The study found 84 percent of Airbnb hosts in Portland share only the home they live in -- their primary residence -- and use the money they earn to help afford the increasing costs of living. Sixty-five percent of Portland hosts said they have used Airbnb income to help afford staying their homes.  Hosting also helps Portland residents to pursue innovative careers and non-traditional forms of work. The study found 45 percent of hosts are self-employed, freelancers or part-time workers, including 12 percent of hosts who have used Airbnb income to support themselves while launching a new business.

Airbnb attracts new travelers who are seeking authentic, local experiences. Ninety-two percent of Airbnb guests want to “live like locals.” Additionally, Airbnb guests spend more time and money in Portland than traditional hotel guests. Airbnb guests stay on average 3.9 nights, compared to 2.1 for traditional hotel guests, and spend on average more than twice as much over the course of their trips.

“Airbnb brings a new dimension in tourism economic impact to the Portland region,” said Bill Lee, Senior Partner at Land Econ Group.  “In addition to income earned and jobs supported, Airbnb guest spending is dispersed into many different neighborhoods and Portland households of moderate means are able to supplement their income by hosting.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • The typical Airbnb host in Portland occasionally rents out only the property in which he or she lives to help afford increasing costs of living. 84% of Airbnb hosts rent the home they live in, and the typical host earns $6,860 per year in Airbnb income. 65% of Portland hosts have used Airbnb income to help afford staying in their homes.
  • Airbnb hosts are diverse in age and many are low-middle income. The average age of Airbnb hosts in Portland is 42, and 40% of hosts earn below Portland median household income.
  • Hosting enables Portland residents to be more entrepreneurial and pursue nontraditional forms of work. 45% of hosts are self-employed, freelancers, or part-time workers, including 12% of hosts who have used Airbnb income to support themselves while launching a new business.
  • Airbnb guests stay on average 3.9 nights (compared to 2.1 nights for traditional hotel guests in Portland) and spend on average more than twice as much over the course of their trips ($815 compared to $360 for the traditional hotel guest).
  • Airbnb allows guests to stay in traditionally less-visited neighborhoods and support the local businesses there. 96% of Airbnb properties in Portland are located outside the main hotel areas, and 98% of hosts suggest local restaurants, cafes, bars, and stores to their guests.

The study released today examined data on Airbnb rental activity in Portland for the 12 months from February 2013 to January 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 35,000 cities and 192 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.