Beyond Cities: How Airbnb supports rural revitalisation in New York

Airbnb democratizes tourism by bringing its economic benefits to communities that typically haven’t shared in these benefits in the past. With hosts keeping 97 percent of the listing price, and a global average of 42 percent of guest spending occurring within the neighborhoods where guests stay, the economic impact of home sharing can be significant for atypical travel destinations.

As the balance of the global population has shifted to cities, capital and commerce is increasingly concentrated in metropolitan regions, contributing to a widening gap in economic opportunity between urban and rural areas. At Airbnb, we believe hosting can help to close this gap by enabling rural residents and communities to share in the returns of the tourism boom that have traditionally gone to multinational hotel chains.

While our work with cities receives the most attention, Airbnb’s growth —including right here in New York—is even stronger in rural America than it is in urban America, highlighting the pent-up potential of home sharing to promote rural revitalization. Home sharing also helps communities welcome more visitors without having to invest in expensive, permanent hospitality infrastructure, including for major events that can bring unprecedented infusions of revenue and put previously little known destinations on the global map.

$7,009 The average yearly income for a rural host in New York, compared to $5,975 for an urban host

51 The average age of a rural host in New York, compared to 47 for urban hosts. Many senior hosts use this additional income to make ends meet and help save for retirement

325% Growth in rural hosts in New York from 2012 to 2017

Many rural communities around New York have seen little investment by the big hotel chains. In contrast, in towns from Franklin to Fulton, home sharing is transforming local tourism in real time.

Airbnb is fighting to ensure that every New Yorker can take advantage of home sharing. As a result,  we have introduced comprehensive home sharing reform at the state-level and are working with local governments to collect and remit tourist taxes to give them a new source of revenue. As of June 1, we have signed agreements with 12 counties across the state.

This new report uses host stories, partnership details, and data to highlight how Airbnb is benefitting the rural communities our hosts call home and in which our guests increasingly feel they belong.