The Airbnb Community in Vancouver

In November 2015, we released the Community Compact, which outlines a series of commitments we are making to be good partners with cities, including a commitment to share data: cities need information to make sound policies. Airbnb has been engaged in a series of productive conversations with officials in Vancouver about crafting smart, fair rules that allow regular people to continue sharing their homes and making ends meet.  As part of Airbnb’s conversation with the City of Vancouver, we committed to sharing data about the Airbnb community in Vancouver.

Yesterday, we released a report detailing our community in Vancouver. Vancouver wants to understand the way that Airbnb is used by hosts and guests and to understand the local economic benefits of home sharing.

We look forward to continuing our work with the government and to partner on ways to allow middle class people to share the homes in which they live, help them make ends meet, pay the bills and stay in their homes, while supporting local businesses that haven’t benefited from tourism in the past, and providing travelers with authentic, local experiences. This report is based on both Airbnb’s internal data and a survey of Vancouver hosts and guests conducted in February, 2016.

  • Hosts earn modest, but significant, amounts of income from hosting. There are more than 4,200 hosts in Vancouver. The typical host earns $6,500 CAD annually ($5,100 USD).
  • Home sharing is making it possible for thousands in Vancouver to afford to stay in their homes. 53% of Vancouver hosts report being able to afford to stay in their homes because of the money they earned through Airbnb. Vancouver hosts also report
spending more than half their Airbnb earnings on rent or mortgage and other household expenses like bills and groceries.
  • The money hosts are earning on Airbnb is preventing eviction and foreclosure. 5% of hosts tell us that Airbnb income helped them avoid eviction, and 7% of hosts tell us that Airbnb income helped them avoid foreclosure.
  • The vast majority of Airbnb hosts first choose to share their space to pay the bills. Nearly three-quarters of Vancouver hosts report choosing to host on Airbnb because they want to earn additional income; 10% of hosts report having extra space; and finally 8% report enjoying being a guest and thus wanting to become a host.
  • Guests to Vancouver who use Airbnb may be more likely to come back and stay longer. 81% of guests to Vancouver reported that, compared to using other accommodation options, Airbnb made them more likely to travel to Vancouver again. 33% of guests would not have come or stayed as long in Vancouver had it not been for Airbnb.
  • Airbnb visitor spending is different and more locally-focused. Almost 60% of guests spent the money they saved by using Airbnb at Vancouver businesses – on food, shopping, and other services and activities. On average,52% of daytime (non-accommodation) spending is spent within the neighbourhood where
an Airbnb guest stays.
  • Airbnb guests stay longer than traditional guests to Vancouver. The average
 length of stay for an Airbnb guest is 5.5 nights versus 4.8 nights for typical overnight guests. With longer stays, Airbnb guests tend to spend more over the course of their stay.
  • Neighbourhoods and local recommendations are important to Airbnb guests. 82% rated exploring a specific neighbourhood as an important part of their decision to use Airbnb and 65% visited a local business based on their host’s recommendation.

We believe that home sharing can and should be regulated, but needs to be done in a way that allows middle class families to continue sharing their homes and provide a significant economic boost to Vancouver.

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