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Airbnb Reports Rapid Growth in Columbus Market

Walker Evans Walker Evans Airbnb Reports Rapid Growth in Columbus Market
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National online hospitality service Airbnb released a new report this week, showcasing rapid growth across all the midwest. That includes a 200 percent increase in usage in Columbus over the past year.

“Among the 14 largest home sharing cities in the Midwest, every market has experienced at least 90% year-over-year inbound guest growth over the last year, plainly demonstrating Airbnb’s proven ability to drive tourism and economic investment in large metropolitan regions,” states the report. “The rapid growth of Midwest home sharing is turning historically great communities into truly global destinations.”

Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, Airbnb recorded 400 hosts in Columbus that hosted 18,700 guests. On average, each host rented out a space for an average of 35 nights throughout the year, equating to an average income of $2,800.

“For thousands of Midwest families, Airbnb is making it possible for regular people to pay their bills, stay in their homes and make ends meet,” continues the report. “Meanwhile, for travelers, Airbnb has created an affordable way to authentically explore every corner of the world. To date, more than 100 million people have stayed in Airbnb listings around the globe. But as the platform grows globally, the impact is being felt locally.”

Currently, Columbus has no regulations in place when it comes to short term rental services like Airbnb, and has been labeled as a “silent city” that makes it known as a friendly place for Airbnb hosts to utilize the online service. Many US cities have imposed restrictions or regulations in recent years due to the increased use of the service.

“11 cities have no legal framework in place… they neither allow nor prohibit short-term rentals,” stated Scott Shatford in a report on the topic at blog.airdna.co. “Only time will tell whether these cities will elect to support or restrict Airbnb operations.”

Since 1969, the City of Columbus has had in place a Hotel-Motel Excise Tax (commonly known as a “bed tax”) that charges an additional fee to hotel guests that directly funds a variety of programs including basic city services and affordable housing initiatives as well as the efforts of Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. Airbnb hosts do not pay the bed tax — currently designated at a rate of 5.1 percent — which equates to an approximate $57,120 in lost revenue over the past year. While that figure is fairly small compared to the $40 million in revenue the bed tax generated in 2015, it is a number that is likely to continue to grow rapidly.

“The latest statistic from Airbnb is another indicator of Columbus’ growing visitor industry,” stated  Megumi Robinson, Associate Director of Public Relations at Experience Columbus. “The more visitors who come to our city, the more money they spend here. Last year, we welcomed 39.3 million visitors who spent $6.4 billion in Columbus, which fueled the economy, supported jobs and generated revenue.”

Looking for Airbnb rentals in Columbus? Visit www.airbnb.com/s/Columbus–OH.

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