Airbnb community boosts Midland’s economy by €2 Million

Local Irish businesses benefited from new visitors with guests spending €47 million

Offaly Express Reporter

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Airbnb community boosts Midland’s economy by €2 Million

Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Robin Clifford, Head of Hosting for Northern Europe and Elizabeth McGuinness, Airbnb Superhost Pic: Sasko Lazarov/Photocal ireland

Airbnb, the world's leading community driven hospitality company, has today launched a report highlighting the positive social and economic impact of the Airbnb community on regional and rural Ireland. 

The report, entitled “Home-Sharing: Empowering Regional & Rural Ireland”, was launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, at an Airbnb listing in her own constituency of County Monaghan. 

It shows that the Airbnb community contributed an estimated €2 Million to the Midlands Region, which includes Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, in the last year. The report is an analysis of all travel to, and within, regional and rural Ireland outside of Dublin, from September 2015 through to August 2016.

Global Head of Customer Experience at Airbnb, Aisling Hassell said, “More and more people across Ireland have joined the growing home sharing movement and are recognising the great value in sharing a spare room, or home when you're away. They are of all ages and from all walks of life. This report shows the positive impact this new form of tourism is having on more remote parts of the country that haven’t traditionally benefited from tourism, enabling guests to experience some of the most beautiful parts of The Emerald Isle, away from the typical holiday destinations.”

Communities are seeing benefits from Airbnb, particularly in the regions and rural Ireland, through tourism and economic development in places where alternative accommodation is not available. Equally by hosting on Airbnb, individual households are able to generate a little extra income to help make ends meet.

Commenting on the report launch Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD said, “I want to congratulate Airbnb on the publication of this report, which clearly illustrates the positive impact the sharing economy is having on rural Ireland. As part of my work to rejuvenate rural Ireland, I want to help create sustainable communities which focus on promoting their individual strengths. The benefit of the Airbnb model is that it can bring new visitors to remote locations, providing a new potential source of revenue for communities. By providing alternative accommodation options in rural villages and towns, we can help to grow tourism and have a positive knock-on impact on other businesses in rural Ireland.”

With hosts sharing their homes in villages all over Ireland, Airbnb guests can travel more widely than those who chose to stay in hotels. Outside of Dublin, many rural communities shrink outside of traditional holiday periods, as holiday homes are closed for the winter. This latent asset and potential is being harnessed to continue to use those properties for short-term Airbnb holiday rentals, helping keep those communities vibrant. This is supporting a longer tourist season and delivering positive economic impact by supporting existing businesses and the development of new, micro-businesses in food, craft, hospitality and culture.

Some highlights of the report include:

●        In the past year alone, 11,000 unique hosts welcomed over 650,000 guests to their homes across Ireland (including Dublin).

●       There were 5,500 inbound guests to the Midland region in the past year staying an average of 2.3 nights each visiting for holiday and leisure.

●        In the last year, 180 hosts in the Midland Region have earned an average additional income of €1,000 per household.

●        44 percent of hosts in the regional and rural report said that they are using the income to make ends meet.

●       It is worth noting that in Dublin, 88 percent of hosts share their primary residence. Outside of Dublin this figure is 64 percent and includes many traditional holiday destinations, indicating the number of people who share their second, or holiday home, when not using it for family or when otherwise would be empty.

●        82 percent of guests said that Airbnb accommodation would make them more likely to return and 85 percent of guests chose Airbnb accommodation because they wanted to ‘live like a local’

Last year Airbnb, published a nationwide report entitled “The Impacts of Home Sharing in Ireland: October 2014 and September 2015” but this is the first time an analysis has been done on the impact of the community in regional and rural Ireland.