Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Study Shows Airbnb Is Good for San Francisco, Says Airbnb

Peer-to-peer accommodation site Airbnb commissioned an independent economic development study to show that it’s having a positive effect on the San Francisco economy.

Airbnb helps freelancers and lower-income residents pay their rents and mortgages, and it drives tourism off the beaten track and into local neighborhoods, the study found.

HR&A Advisors measured Airbnb’s impact as $56 million between April 2011 and May 2012 in the company’s hometown.

Airbnb says 72 percent of its properties in San Francisco are outside the central hotel corridor.

That’s the amount guests and hosts are estimated to have spent — $43.1 million of which was on local businesses.

While the findings were (of course!) glowing, some of the particular details might be more unexpected:

  • 60 percent of San Francisco Airbnb hosts make below the median income for the area.
  • 56 percent say they use their income from Airbnb to pay their rent or mortgage.
  • 20 percent of Airbnb hosts are freelancers, compared to 8 percent of the San Francisco population.
  • Airbnb guests spend $1,100 per San Francisco visit, compared to $840 for hotel guests.
  • 60 percent of that spending is in the neighborhoods where guests stay, and Airbnb guests stay all over town instead of just in the main tourist districts.
  • Over the past three years, the San Francisco hotel occupancy rate and average daily rate are both trending upward.

Though it’s not precisely an economic impact, something worth studying as well might be the wear and tear on these neighborhoods that are not tourist-ready. Anecdotally, at least, neighbors are not necessarily appreciative of lost guests dragging suitcases around en route to their Airbnb accommodations.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google