A report published by Airbnb yesterday shows bookings have surged by more than 80 per cent since last summer, contributing an estimated £3.46 billion to the UK economy.
The report says the average Airbnb host earns £3,000 a year, selling 36 nights annually on a typical listing. With 168,000 active listings in the UK alone and 5.9 million inbound guests choosing house sharing over traditional hotel rooms, it’s apparent this controversial accommodation option is making waves in the travel industry.
Sustainability is a focus of the report, with Airbnb saying 72 per cent of guests chose home sharing based on the environmental benefits. Bookings on the platform contributed to energy savings equivalent to 75,000 homes, water reduction equal to 1,200 Olympic-size swimming pools, enough reduced greenhouse emissions to make up for 217,000 cars and waste savings of 10,800 tonnes.
Addressing concerns that hosts are taking advantage of the platform and driving up rental prices, the firm introduced an automated system earlier this year designed to limit whole-house listings to 90 nights per year, unless the host had correct permission to list more nights. Since the platform went into use, bookings above 90 nights have decreased from 21 per cent to seven per cent.
In a time when Millennials are driving changes in travel trends, such findings show Airbnb is a force to be reckoned with, regardless of the grey areas surrounding its safety policies.