By sharing their homes with beach goers, tourists, and college football fans, Alabamians made over $16 million in 2017 using the popular home-sharing app Airbnb.
Airbnb allows short-term accommodation seekers to book rentals online with individual hosts or property owners. According to their yearly totals, compiled from 114,000 guest arrivals in Alabama:
- The typical Alabama host shared their home 24 nights over the course of the year earning an extra $6,100 in income
- About 2,100 Alabama families hosted at least one Airbnb guest
- 57 percent of hosts in state are women
Gulf Shores was the most visited Alabama destination, with hosts bringing in 27,700 guests and earning $4.9 million. Birmingham was the runner-up with 14,400 guest arrivals bringing in an extra $1.5 million.
Tuscaloosa and Auburn were also popular destinations. Hosts in these cities earned over $1.1 million over the past two football seasons.
Airbnb hosts in Alabama did more than make profits in 2017.
In September while Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, many Florida residents traveled to Alabama for safe lodgings and to wait out the storm. Airbnb responded quickly and activated their emergency response program in several Alabama cities. The special listings for evacuees, in addition to having no list price, were free from Airnb’s fees and local/state taxes. One host in the Mobile area refunded her guests over $600 for their stay during the hurricane as a chance to “pay it forward.”
“Home sharing through Airbnb continues to be a unique and flexible way for Alabama families to make more money, pay their bills, and support their communities,” said Public Policy Director for Airbnb in Alabama, Will Burns. “We look forward to 2018 being another successful year of giving residents in Birmingham, the Gulf Shores, Auburn, and all corners of the state an economic boost, travelers more affordable accommodations, and neighborhood businesses more foot traffic.”