Update from Japan

We are delighted to share news from Japan today that the government has announced it will begin a full review of how to reform current rules to better embrace home sharing. While this review is ongoing, Japan will also take steps to make greater use of the home sharing community to help the country accommodate global guests during events. These measures were announced today as part in the Japan Revitalization Strategy 2015.

Airbnb is excited and humbled to offer its service in Japan and to have the opportunity to enable local residents across the country to share their homes with respectful guests who want to experience Japan like a local. Local residents are the best ambassadors for Japan and provide a unique and innovative way for visiting guests to experience the warmth and vibrancy of this great country. We are grateful for the support of the Japanese government and look forward to working closely with them so more local residents can welcome guests from around the world into their homes.

Japan is famous for its hospitality – and more and more foreign visitors travel to the land of the rising sun to experience the famed Japanese omotenashi. Travellers are increasingly choosing to experience ‘the real Japan’ by staying in the homes of local residents in communities away from the tourist hotspots. They are enjoying the hospitality of regular people who are providing a new way to experience this exciting country, built on authentic, local experiences and building new personal connections and friendships with visitors from across the world.

Research has also shown that many Airbnb hosts rely on the income they make by occasionally sharing their home to afford living costs, pay the bills and save for retirement.

With the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, the eyes of the world will increasingly be on Japan. The Airbnb community has already opened their doors to provide a flexible accommodation option for cities that are looking to accommodate big events without having to undertake major building projects, including the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They will do so again at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where Airbnb has been named as the official alternative accommodation partner, and we are delighted they will be able to offer their support in Japan as well.







2020年の東京オリンピックが近づいています。これから、世界の目はますます日本に注がれることでしょう。Airbnbコミュニティは既に門戸を開いており、2012年のロンドンでのオリンピック、2014年のブラジルでのワールドカップを含めた大きなイベント開催時に、経費のかかる大規模な建築プロジェクトを実施せずに、融通の利く宿泊設備に対しての柔軟な選択肢を提供してきました。リオで行われる2016年のオリンピックでも同様に、Airbnbは「宿泊施設の選択肢の一つとしての公式サプライヤー」(正式名称:Official Alternative Accommodation Service)として任命されており、Airbnbのコミュニティが行う支援に関し、日本国内においても一歩前進することをうれしく思います。



Rhode Island Welcomes Home Sharing!

On the heels of exciting recent news from Philadelphia, the state of Rhode Island has embraced home sharing. Earlier today, the Governor of Rhode Island signed statewide legislation that will enable the people of the Ocean State to share their homes. Rhode Island now joins the growing list of places – from Philadelphia to Nashville to San Jose – that have created common sense rules allowing people to easily share their homes. Additionally, these smart laws facilitate collection of tax revenue and an increase in the number of guests, whose spending supports local businesses.   

At a time when we are trying to find policies to address economic inequality, Airbnb’s approach is helping the middle class turn one of their biggest expenses — housing — into economic opportunity. The large majority of Airbnb hosts sharing their homes in Rhode Island, and nationally, are from the middle class and Airbnb is making life a little better for the middle class by helping them use their homes to generate added income that is the equivalent of a  14% raise.

We applaud Rhode Island’s lawmakers for developing and designing thoughtful regulations and we look forward to working with more and more cities and states  to clear the path for home sharing and home sharers around the world.

Airbnb Community in Madrid Boosts Spanish Economy by €323m

We regularly share news on the tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits the Airbnb community brings to cities. Today we released a new study in Madrid, which shows that the the Airbnb community in Madrid has contributed €323 million in total economic activity to the national economy in one year, supported 5,130 jobs and helped local residents across the capital to stay in their homes. The study also examined the social and environmental benefits that come from travelling with Airbnb.

In line with findings from other cities we have studied, we found that Airbnb is attracting new visitors to Madrid who stay longer, spend more and are more likely to return. Guests who travel to Madrid using Airbnb are also more likely to stay in areas outside of typical tourist zones, spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the city.

Additionally, this type of travel results in significant reduction of energy, water use, and waste generation, and encourages sustainability among both residents and visitors in Madrid.

Some highlights of the study include:

  • From January 2014 through December 2014, the Airbnb community has contributed €323 million in total economic activity to the Spanish economy.

  • The average Airbnb host is 48-years-old, with one fifth working in creative industries. 91 percent of hosts hold at least a college degree but 75 percent earn below Madrid’s average annual net income.

  • Three quarters of Airbnb hosts share the home in which they live and almost half (45 percent) said the additional income they make hosting helps them stay in their homes.

  • Airbnb enables hosts to afford to take professional chances and pursue their dreams. One third of Airbnb hosts in Madrid are non-traditionally employed, and 12 percent say additional income they make from hosting has allowed them to support themselves while freelancing.

  • Airbnb is complementary to the existing tourism industry in Madrid and spreads the economic benefits of tourism across the city to new communities and small businesses. Airbnb hosts’ properties span more than 60 neighbourhoods in Madrid and 70 percent are located outside of the traditional hotel neighbourhood. Half of daytime spending by Airbnb guests is in the neighbourhood where they stay.

  • Airbnb attracts new visitors to Madrid. 55 percent of guests visited Madrid for the first time and 73 percent of guests reported that their Airbnb experience made them more likely to return.

  • Airbnb attracts new guests to Madrid who stay longer, spend more and are more likely to return. Airbnb guests stay an average of 4.6 nights and spend €834 over the course of their trip. 25 percent of Airbnb guests would not have come or stayed as long without Airbnb.

  • Guests are looking for authentic experiences. 95 percent of guests said they are looking to ‘live like a local’ and 85 percent said they wanted to stay in a specific neighbourhood. Hosts encourage this by recommending that guests explore alternative neighbourhoods; 92 percent of hosts prepare personalised recommendations and 87 percent recommend local neighbourhood favourites.

  • Airbnb hosts participate in an ongoing cultural exchange with people from around the world. 79 percent of Airbnb guests in Madrid come from outside Spain and 75 percent do not speak Spanish as their primary language, which resulted in hosts engaging with guests who spoke more than 20 different languages.

  • By staying in properties available on the Airbnb platform instead of traditional accommodation options, Airbnb guests to Madrid between January 2014 and December 2014 resulted in estimated energy savings equivalent of 2950 homes, water reduction equivalent of 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools, greenhouse gas emission reductions equivalent to 8,500 cars and waste reduction of up to 400 metric tonnes.

Home sharing and Airbnb have become a welcome and expected part of the tourism infrastructure in many modern cities. As a forward-thinking and progressive city, we hope Madrid will join cities like London, Paris and Amsterdam in supporting local residents who share their homes. We look forward to working with everyone in Madrid on modern, simple rules for home sharing so more people can experience this exciting city like a local. For more information, check out the press release.


La comunidad de Airbnb en Madrid generó un impacto de 323 millones sobre la economía española

De manera regular compartimos las noticias sobre el fuerte impacto económico, social y medioambiental que la comunidad de Airbnb tiene sobre las ciudades. Hoy hemos presentado un nuevo estudio en Madrid que muestra cómo la comunidad de viajeros y huéspedes de Airbnb en esa ciudad generó, sobre el conjunto de la economía española en 2014, un impacto económico máximo estimado de 320 millones de euros y facilitó la creación de 5.130 puestos de trabajo, al tiempo que representó un apoyo decisivo para la economía de muchos particulares de la capital española. El estudio también examinó los beneficios sociales y medioambientales que resultan de utilizar la plataforma.

En línea con otros estudios llevados a cabo en diferentes ciudades, el de Madrid demuestra que Airbnb atrae a viajeros que se quedan más tiempo, gastan más y se muestran más proclives a visitar de nuevo la ciudad en un futuro. Los huéspedes que se alojan en casas de anfitriones madrileños que se anuncian en la plataforma suelen quedarse en áreas alejadas de las típicas zonas turísticas, distribuyendo los beneficios económicos en los barrios de toda la ciudad.

Adicionalmente, esta manera de viajar se traduce también en reducciones significativas en el consumo de energía, agua y desperdicios, lo que impulsa el comportamiento sostenible, tanto por parte de los anfitriones como de los viajeros que se alojan en Madrid.

Estas son algunas de las conclusiones destacadas del estudio:

  • Entre enero y diciembre de 2014, la comunidad de Airbnb generó un impacto económico máximo estimado de 320 millones de euros sobre el conjunto de la economía española.

  • El anfitrión medio en Madrid tiene 48 años y uno de cada cinco trabaja en el entorno de las industrias creativas. El 91% de ellos tiene un título universitario, aunque el 75% reconoce ingresar una renta inferior a la media anual de Madrid.

  • Tres cuartas partes de los anfitriones de Airbnb comparten la casa en la que viven y casi la mitad (un 45%) asegura que los ingresos extra que obtiene compartiendo casa le ayuda a vivir en la casa que habita.

  • La posibilidad de compartir su casa facilita que los anfitriones puedan embarcarse en nuevas iniciativas profesionales. Un tercio de ellos posee una forma de empleo no tradicional y un 12% afirma que los ingresos obtenidos le ha permitido mantener su actividad como autónomo o emprendedor.

  • La comunidad de anfitriones de Airbnb es complementaria a la actual industria turística de Madrid y ayuda a distribuir los beneficios económicos del turismo por toda la ciudad, hacia los barrios, sus ciudadanos y los pequeños comercios. Los anfitriones se reparten en más de 60 barrios y el 70% se encuentra fuera de las tradicionales zonas de concentración hotelera. La mitad de lo que gastan los viajeros tiene lugar en el barrio donde se alojan.

  • Airbnb atrae nuevos visitantes a la ciudad. El 55% de los huéspedes visita Madrid por primera vez y el 73% asegura que la experiencia con Airbnb le llevará a repetir visita a la capital de España.

  • Los viajeros que se alojan en casa de un anfitrión de Madrid se quedan una media de 4,6 noches y gastan 834€ a lo largo de su estancia. El 25% de los huéspedes asegura que, sin Airbnb, no hubieran venido o no se hubieran quedado tanto tiempo en la ciudad.

  • Los viajeros buscan experiencias únicas. El 95% de los huéspedes asegura que quiere vivir la ciudad como un local y el 85% reconoce que quería alojarse en un barrio concreto. Los anfitriones promueven este comportamiento gracias a las recomendaciones que dan a sus huéspedes, sobre todo las de explorar barrios alternativos: el 92% de los anfitriones prepara recomendaciones personalizadas y el 87% aconseja a los viajeros lugares del entorno de su barrio.

  • Los anfitriones participan de manera activa en el intercambio cultural con personas de todo el mundo. El 79% de los huéspedes es de fuera de España y el 75% no tiene el español como su primera lengua. Los anfitriones madrileños conectan con viajeros que hablan hasta 20 idiomas diferentes.

  • Al alojarse en casas de madrileños anunciadas en la plataforma de Airbnb -en lugar de las opciones de alojamiento tradicionales-, los viajeros han permitido (en todo 2014) un ahorro energético equivalente a los que gastan 2950 hogares, han reducido el consumo de agua equivalente a 50 piscina olímpicas, han reducido la emisión de gases con efecto invernadero equivalente a 8.500 coches y han reducido los desperdicios en 400 toneladas métricas.

Airbnb y la posibilidad de compartir la propia casa se ha convertido ya en una destacada herramienta para atraer nuevos visitantes en muchas ciudades modernas. Esperamos que Madrid, que también es una ciudad dinámica y moderna, siga los mismo pasos que Londres, París o Ámsterdam y permita que sus ciudadanos puedan compartir su vivienda. Deseamos trabajar de manera conjunta con todos los agentes para sacar adelante una normativa clara y simple para compartir casa, con el objetivo de que cada vez más gente pueda vivir la ciudad como un local. Para más información, consultar el comunicado de prensa.


Working Together Across Europe to Make Tax Simple for Hosts

Everyday around the world, we are having conversations with policy makers and local authorities about how we can make it easier for regular people who share their homes to follow the rules and pay their fair share. More and more cities are acknowledging the tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits our community brings. We want to work together with them to ensure the rules for home sharing are modern, clear and simple to follow so home sharing can continue to thrive.

In some cities we have done this is by working with governments to simplify the tourist tax responsibilities that hosts may have – a complex tax that varies from city to city. It was designed for traditional hospitality providers who, in contrast to our hosts, would typically have lawyers and accountants to advise them. In Amsterdam, for example, we entered into an agreement with the City of Amsterdam’s Tax Office and have been collecting and remitting tourist tax on behalf of hosts in Amsterdam since 1 February 2015. The partnership is going well and we are currently exploring a similar initiative in France. As well as collecting and remitting these taxes in Amsterdam, we have similar programs in the U.S., including Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington D.C., Chicago, Malibu and North Carolina.

Negotiations on these issues are complex and take time, but we don’t believe you should have to hire a tax lawyer to share your home and we’ll do all we can to simplify these processes for our community of hosts – regular people who share their homes and rely on this income to make ends meet.

As well as simplifying the payment of tourist tax, we also provide information to our community in Europe about their obligations to declare and pay tax on their income, where applicable. While only hosts themselves can understand their own personal income circumstances and responsibilities, we understand that it can be daunting and confusing process for regular people to follow and have therefore taken a number of proactive steps to support our community.

Here are some of the steps we have taken to support our community on this issue:

  • All new hosts are reminded to check local laws – including tax laws – before they list their space. Before they list, they must certify that they have checked and will adhere to these rules.

  • Our website features responsible hosting pages that link to important information on tax rules and regulations. In Amsterdam, for example, we link directly to information and guidance provided by the City of Amsterdam’s Tax Office.

  • All hosts can download their transaction history at any point, which can help with tax planning.

  • We send regular email updates to our community reminding them to check and follow their local rules. During the various tax seasons around Europe, we also remind hosts to check their transaction histories and take appropriate steps in their personal tax declarations.

Few companies around the world like talking about tax – and even fewer dedicate so much time and effort to working with tax authorities around the world to ensure it’s as easy as possible to pay taxes correctly. But at Airbnb, we want to lead our industry on this matter and ensure governments receive these resources.

The majority of Airbnb hosts are regular people who occasionally share the home in which they live. They are not businesses, tax lawyers or accountants. They want to pay their fair share but rely on clear guidance and simple processes that are easy to follow.

Recently, more governments have taken steps to play their part – with the United Kingdom and Australia both working to make official information about taxes clearer and simpler for hosts. We are grateful for this and will continue to look for ways that we can support our community. We welcome the input from authorities across Europe on how we can work together to make tax simple for everyone.

New Report: The Impact of Airbnb on Middle Class Income Stagnation

Today we are excited to announce a new report authored for Airbnb by one of the most respected economists in the United States – a report that outlines how beneficial home sharing can be in closing the middle class income gap and helping so many working families get by just a little easier.

For countless middle class families, Airbnb is an economic lifeline, making it possible to pay the bills and make ends meet. Since our founding in 2008, Airbnb has empowered millions of micro-entrepreneurs to monetize their most valuable asset — housing — to help them pay the bills and stay in their homes. In the United States alone, our community of hosts have earned more than $3.2 billion over the past seven years.

Millions of participants in the sharing economy already knew how helpful this extra income could be, but we wanted to understand the issue better so we asked former White House National Economic Advisor and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling to study the specific impacts of home sharing on the middle class. In a new report released today — The Impact of Airbnb on Middle Class Income Stagnation — Mr. Sperling finds the supplemental money earned by our hosts essentially represents a 14 percent annual raise for middle class families on our platform.

As Sperling points out, there is wide consensus that overcoming middle-class income stagnation is one of our nation’s great economic imperatives. Policy solutions for income stagnation are complex and involve a range of efforts in a wide range of areas.

Among other things, today’s report shows:

  • The majority of Airbnb hosts are working families who rent out their primary residence for an average of 66 days a year.

  • Those hosts make approximately $7,530 in supplementary income per year with just a single property.

  • This money is the equivalent of real household income growing 0.5% over inflation for the past 15 years, instead of shrinking.

For many families, the income earned sharing their home is the difference between being able to weather a period between jobs, an unexpected medical issue, or even just being able to afford to stay in their homes. While our platform does not replace the need for smart policies addressing middle class income stagnation, it does offer an important and accessible way for families to to earn supplemental income without taking risks to their long-term financial health.

The City of Brotherly Love: The Largest U.S. City to Embrace Home Sharing Yet!

Today, Philadelphia became the largest city in the U.S. to pass legislation specifically enabling people to share their homes. The City of Brotherly Love joins the ranks of innovative cities across the world that are embracing home sharing, including Paris, London, Hamburg, Amsterdam and San Jose.

Philadelphia may be one of America’s oldest and most historic cities, but it has now proven itself to be one of the most forward thinking when it comes to the sharing economy and to new technologies that can help its citizens pay the bills and experience the world in new ways.

The laws the city is about to enact will provide safe, smart, and thoughtful regulations ensuring that visitors from all over the world can live like a local. What makes this change particularly exciting is that Philadelphia will soon be host to both Pope Francis and the Democratic National Convention. By opening its doors to short-term home rentals, the city is allowing more guests, more local spending, and more taxes to flow into Philadelphia.  The smart new rules passed by the City Council go into effect on July 1, 2015, and will allow every single Philadelphian the right to share their home for up to half the year.

“This legislation will benefit the city, Philadelphians and visitors who want to partake in upcoming events like the Pope’s visit and the Democratic National Convention which will bring millions to Philadelphia, said Philadelphia City Councilman William Greenlee. “I’m glad I could work with Airbnb and the Nutter Administration to enable people to share their homes.”

In the past year, the number of annual guests staying at an Airbnb in Philadelphia has doubled, and these new rules will further encourage the people of Philadelphia to experience the sharing economy firsthand.

Home sharing allows working and middle-class residents  turn what is typically one of their greatest expenses into a tool to help make ends meet. The vast majority of our hosts, an average of 82%, are simply renting the home in which they live. Philadelphia hosts have historically been able to earn about $150 per night renting out their homes during peak times, and this is money that can be the difference in making the mortgage or rent.

We applaud Philly’s leaders for developing and designing thoughtful regulations to lead on this important middle-class issue, and we look forward to working with more and more cities to clear the path for home sharing and home sharers around the world.

Airbnb’s Continued Economic Impact in Cities Around the World

As we have known for years, one of the most exciting things about home sharing is that it allows people to turn what is typically one of their greatest expenses into a tool to help make ends meet. Most Airbnb hosts are people who simply share their own home to pay the bills. Meanwhile, the guests who stay in those homes generate sustainable, local economic activity that supports small businesses and boosts the financial strength of entire cities.

Although we knew this was happening, we decided in 2012 to put our assumptions to the test and measure Airbnb’s economic impact in cities around the world through a series of data and survey-driven studies, starting with San Francisco and since expanding to more than a dozen other cities around the world. While we do release each study individually, we also thought it would be interesting to tally up all of the studies to get a good sense of the total, global impact of Airbnb activity. Today, we’ve updated the overall numbers from around the world into a new summary to help better understand Airbnb’s global impact.

Highlights from our studies around the world include:

  • 81% of hosts share only the homes in which they live.

  • Hosts use their Airbnb income to help make ends meet, and more than half of our hosts say they use income from Airbnb to be able to stay in their homes.

  • Airbnb travelers stay longer and spend more, in diverse neighborhoods throughout the city.

  • 74% of Airbnb properties in these cities are outside the main hotel districts, helping travelers explore and spend money in neighborhoods not traditionally served by hotels.

  • 42%of Airbnb guest spending occurs in the neighborhood where they stayed.

It’s a lot prettier than this blog and you can check it out here. This summary is an update to a similar study we did last year.

Airbnb to Participate in FTC Workshop on Sharing Economy

On June 9th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hosting a workshop to explore the sharing economy – “The “Sharing” Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators.” Airbnb is excited to be participating in this workshop to share our experiences on the many benefits created by our platform.

Airbnb’s Head of Global Public Policy, David Hantman, will be joining other industry leaders at the workshop to discuss how our platform enriches communities – from the additional income regular Americans earn through hosting, to the unique lodging opportunities that allow guests to stay in less visited parts a city, supporting local businesses while also seeing the city as a resident does.

Ahead of the workshop, we submitted public comment to the FTC that you can read here. Airbnb hosts and guests from across the country have already joined us in submitting comments to help educate policymakers on what Airbnb means to them and their community by sharing their story, and the FTC continues to accept comments as part of this process. You can provide your input to this important discussion here.

We look forward to beginning this dialogue with the FTC as we have done with cities and lawmakers all over the world.

Thank You, Ireland!

Our community is united by a common desire to create a world in which people can belong anywhere.

Yesterday, in a historic vote, people across Ireland did just that for every Irish person, regardless of who they love. On behalf of our employees in Dublin and around the world, the tens of thousands of Airbnb guests and hosts across Ireland, and millions more across the globe, we say thank you to the people of Ireland for their leadership and commitment to making the world a better, more equal place.

By bringing people together from all walks of life and building trust among would-be strangers, we believe that our company and community can play an active role in changing biases and fostering understanding among diverse individuals and communities around the world. From the micro entrepreneur in Havana to the San Francisco family able to stay in their home by sharing their home and the curious minds discovering Tokyo through the eyes of a local, our mission isn’t complete until everyone has an equal seat at the table.

Working Together with North Carolina to Make Tax Rules Simple

Many hotel and tourist tax rules were designed for big corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants — but you shouldn’t need those just to share your extra bedroom. For more than a year, we have been working with cities and counties across the country to add more communities to the list of places where we can help hosts collect and remit hotel taxes.

Today, we are happy to announce that beginning June 1, 2015, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting hotel taxes from guests on behalf of hosts statewide in North Carolina and locally in the counties of Buncombe, Durham, Mecklenburg and Wake. This announcement comes after months of work between Airbnb and authorities across North Carolina on how to make it simpler for local residents to follow the rules and pay their fair share.

Our community in North Carolina already brings significant economic and cultural benefits to the state, and this is another way we can make North Carolina an even better place to live and visit. We are proud to work with local leaders to implement this initiative.

“Airbnb is a popular piece of the new sharing economy that tourists and prospective residents expect to see in modern cities, so we are glad that we have taken the first step in welcoming Airbnb to Raleigh,” said Raleigh City Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin. Baldwin is chair of the city council’s Law and Public Safety Committee.

Airbnb first began collecting and remitting hotel and tourist taxes from guests on behalf of hosts in San Francisco and Portland. Since then we have worked together with forward thinking authorities on similar initiatives in Amsterdam, Chicago, Malibu, San Jose and Washington D.C. We are also working with policy makers in France on similar plans to roll out across the country.

As we move forward, we’ll continue our work with leaders in North Carolina on clear, fair rules for home sharing. We are confident that we can work together on some simple policies that embrace home sharing and make North Carolina communities stronger.