Much has been written, posted and tweeted about the influence that Airbnb and other companies that are part of the sharing economy have, specifically on the local economies. Unfortunately, not everything that has been written about Airbnb has been entirely positive and its rapid growth has given rise to some challenges regarding rules and tax regulations.
However, these challenges have not prevented millions of people to turn to the Airbnb platform in order to experience different cities all over the globe on a more personal level. Surely, tens of millions cannot all be wrong, right? If so many people are embracing what Airbnb has to offer, the Airbnb sharing economy must have a tremendous positive influence not only on hosts and travelers but many different economies too?
The Impact of the Airbnb Sharing Economy on Local Small Businesses
The Airbnb team has completed their own economic impact studies over the recent years and has made some reassuring conclusions about the positive impact Airbnb has to offer. For starters, one of the main driving forces that motivate travelers to use Airbnb is that people want to experience a place as if they were, in fact, one of the locals. As a result, Airbnb guests stay and spend in many different neighborhoods that are located all over the city. These are neighborhoods that many times would not have attracted many tourists before the dawn of Airbnb. On top of that, these Airbnb guests spend more than twice the amount than regular tourists typically spend!
So, regarding the concern about Airbnb listings killing the hotel industry, this is actually not entirely the case. According to data collected by Airbnb more than 70% of Airbnb listings are in fact properties that are based outside the districts of the major hotels.
Nowadays people are interested in enjoying a more authentic travel experience and that is something that hotels simply just cannot offer nearly as good as the Airbnb sharing economy can. What sets Airbnb hosts apart from your receptionist at one of the big brand-name hotels is that Airbnb hosts are better at sharing tips about the secret, undiscovered gems that the city has to offer. This means that the Airbnb sharing economy encourages tourists to support the local small businesses and not just the main attractions that appear on the front cover of glossy magazines and big billboards.
The Impact of the Airbnb Sharing Economy on Property Owners
It is not only the local small businesses that benefit from the Airbnb sharing economy. The grim reality is that in many countries the economic outlooks are bleak. There are many people who are struggling to earn enough money to live without acquiring debt. Though, thanks to the growth of the Airbnb sharing economy hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts are able to earn a much-needed extra income. As a matter of fact, according to data gathered by Airbnb, more than half of all Airbnb hosts have admitted that if it were not for the financial benefits of the Airbnb sharing economy they would not have been able to afford to remain in their home.
In addition to these financial advantages, thanks to the Airbnb sharing economy individual hosts have developed invaluable entrepreneurial skills, while also expanding their knowledge regarding customer service and marketing. Many of these Airbnb hosts actually have no prior experience in the hospitality industry at all and these newly acquired skills and knowledge empower them to join any industry as these skills are crucial in almost every business.
The Bigger Picture
For some hosts, it is about more than simply supplementing their income. The Airbnb sharing economy has given rise to a new group of astute entrepreneurs called “rentalpreneurs”. As a matter of fact, according to information compiled by LearnAirbnb at least more than 70 American Airbnb hosts are generating over $1 million per year just by renting out their properties.
The Airbnb sharing economy has also had a positive influence on the traditional property management industry. Airbnb might have been a community in which individual property owners used to rent out their properties, but nowadays established property management agencies also use the platform to list their thousands of listings. These companies are creating jobs for hundreds of people and so the Airbnb sharing economy has also helped to sustain job creation in this sector.
It is clear that the Airbnb sharing economy has helped countless local economies from all over the globe by benefiting both local businesses and the residents. And not just financially!
Without it, our personal lives would have been much poorer too. The Airbnb community promotes cultural awareness, understanding and tolerance and this is something priceless, now more than ever before.