Economic Impacts of Airbnb

On behalf of Airbnb, an online service for short-term vacation rentals, HR&A conducted an economic impact assessment of Airbnb rental activities in San Francisco and New York City.

Airbnb is a leader in the “sharing economy,” a new trend in the sharing of resources facilitated by network technologies and social tools, and HR&A’s reports are among the most in-depth studies to date of the impacts of this economic trend.

The studies reveal multiple ways in which the new economic activities associated with Airbnb — which has grown exponentially since 2008 to serve 9 million guests in cities around the world — have significant impacts on a city and its neighborhoods, businesses, and residents:

  • Airbnb benefits its many hosts, who use Airbnb to supplement their income;
  • Airbnb impacts neighborhoods that are off the main hotel beat, distributing visitor spending across many neighborhoods and businesses throughout the city;
  • Airbnb benefits the city as a whole. In San Francisco, it generated $56 million in direct and indirect spending in one year and supported 380 full-time equivalent jobs. In New York, it generated $632 million in economic activity in New York and supported 4,580 jobs throughout all five boroughs.;
  • Much of this economic activity is new. Even as hotel occupancy has climbed, the number of Airbnb reservations has grown dramatically, indicating that many Airbnb users are a different visitor segment than hotel guests. Airbnb brings new economic spending to cities from visitors who are price-sensitive and seek a “live like a local” experience they may not otherwise find in conventional accommodation; and
  • Airbnb also enables cities to become more competitive by attracting skilled workers and incentivizing relocation with innovative short-term stay opportunities.

HR&A’s studies have been covered by WNYC, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Real Estate Weekly, Media Post, New York Business Journal, Digital Journal, Tech Hive, Curbed,Morningstar, Forbes, TechCrunch, Marketwire, and The Huffington Post, among other news sources. It also attracted substantial attention from policy experts, and elected officials. The official press release for the New York Study is available online.

Image Courtesy of: Airbnb

Courtesy: Airbnb