It is no secret that Airbnb has shaken up the hospitality business during the last few years.
And on Thursday, Airbnb reported its business in the Sunshine State in 2017 – and saying it was a “good year” is a bit of an understatement.
The California-based company says that Florida vacation rental hosts earned a combined $450 million in supplemental income and welcomed 2.7 million guests to the state in 2017.
That number reflects a massive 75 percent increase over the amount of guests from last year, Airbnb said.
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Airbnb says the growth comes as residents become increasingly familiar with the organization and embrace hosting more. There are now, according to Airbnb, 40,000 Floridians who share their homes or vacation rentals through the company, with each typically earning about $6,700 annually.
“Vacation rentals provide a tremendous impact for the local tourism industry and Florida’s overall economy,” said Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, in a statement. “We must protect private property rights so that Florida homeowners can continue to participate in the sharing economy and provide additional options for travelers to our state.”
Airbnb says that based on statewide data vacation rentals actually complement, rather than compete with, the Florida hotel industry. In 2017, Florida hotels experienced growth in occupancy rates, prices and revenue, the company said in a news release.
“This suggests that vacation rentals on Airbnb and other platforms are opening up the state to a new demographic of tourists by catering to travelers who are less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to vacation together under one roof,” the company wrote in the release.