With a “mission to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere”, Airbnb said this week that its host and guest community has boosted the economies of some 30 countries in 2018 by 100 billion dollars with Greece seeing its economy grow by 1.4 billion dollars in the same year.
Despite being in the spotlight and often facing opposition, Airbnb notes that it is generating substantial economic benefits for hosts and communities based on findings of a new survey released this week, helping at the same time to “spread the benefits of tourism to some of the least visited destinations in the world”.
According to a survey of over 228,000 responses from its host and guest community, in the 2016-2018 period, thanks to the Airbnb platform, destinations like Moldova saw their inbound tourism increase by 190 percent, Vanuatu by 187 percent and New Caledonia by 175 percent.
Additionally, 84 percent of Airbnb hosts said they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests; 69 percent said they suggest cultural activities such as museums, festivals, and historical sites; while 51 percent admitted that hosting has helped them afford their homes.
On their part, Airbnb guests said 42 percent of their spending occurs in the neighborhood where they stay; 50 percent said they spent the money they saved by staying on Airbnb in the cities and neighborhoods they visited; 70 percent said their decision to use Airbnb is based on wanting to explore a specific neighborhood; 86 percent said the convenience of location also mattered in their decision to use Airbnb and affected the length of their stay on average, adding 4.3 days to their trip.
Indicatively, according to the Airbnb survey, the direct economic impact in 2018 based on host income and estimated guest spending during trip came to 33.8 billion for the US market, 10.8 billion euros for France, 6.9 billion dollars for Spain, 6.4 billion dollars for Italy, 5.6 billion dollars for the UK, and 2.3 billion dollars for Portugal, among others.
On the downside, it should be noted, that the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) has repeatedly warned about lost state revenue to the tune of 400 million euros in 2017 – from undeclared short-term rental activity with the Greek government launching only last year an online registry requiring mandatory declaration for tax purposes.