Airbnb Hosts “Primed” to Welcome Guests in Iowa and New Hampshire

As voters get ready to participate in the first-in-the-nation nominating contests, Airbnb hosts are ready to open their doors to thousands of campaign staff, volunteers and members of the media who are following the candidates to Iowa and New Hampshire.


With campaigning reaching a fever pitch in Iowa, local Airbnb hosts will see big increases in guests and hosting income for the Caucuses compared to 2016. In the two weeks leading up to the Caucuses, Iowa hosts will welcome more than 5,000 guests, amounting to an astronomical 742-percent increase in guest arrivals compared to the same time period around the 2016 Caucuses. Hosts also will earn over $1 million* in supplemental income, an increase of 595 percent over 2016 numbers. 

Top Guest Origins for Iowa Caucus

New York City
Des Moines, IA
Washington D.C.
Omaha, NE

New Hampshire

Meanwhile, Airbnb hosts in New Hampshire are currently expecting more than 15,000 guest arrivals in the two weeks leading up to the state’s first-in-the-nation primary and will earn a combined $2.3 million in host income. The guest arrival total represents an increase of 462 percent over the state’s 2016 primary and the host income is up 445 percent.  

Top Guest Origins for New Hampshire Primary

New York City
Providence, RI
Somerville, MA
Cambridge, MA

All Politics are Local

With the Presidential primary season being a quadrennial event, Airbnb has grown to play an increasingly important and integral role in campaigns’ ability to house staffers and volunteers affordably, while helping states significantly expand lodging capacity to welcome the influx of political guests. These events also drive valuable economic impact for local hosts and communities.

Importantly, 97 percent of what hosts charge stays with the host, keeping dollars local.  Meanwhile, visitors using Airbnb have said that they spend nearly $170 per day with local restaurants and merchants*, many in the areas where they stay, ensuring local businesses reap the benefits of tourism too. 

Part of the Founding Fabric

Presidential campaigns have a special place in Airbnb’s own history. In 2008, not long after Airbnb was founded during a design conference in San Francisco, Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia got an idea to raise money and awareness to help bootstrap the company. Inspired by the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Brian and Joe decided to embrace the ‘breakfast’ aspect of Airbnb by launching limited-edition cereal boxes known as “Obama O’s” and “Captain McCain’s.” The ingenuity paid off and raised critical funds for a very young Airbnb. 

That same year, when then-Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s acceptance speech was moved to Denver’s Mile-High Stadium to accommodate a crowd of 80,000, the question arose as to where they would stay. The city’s 28,000 hotel rooms were booked. Brian and Joe decided to re-launch their website and give Denverites the chance to earn extra income by hosting some of the last-minute guests.

From the beginning, Airbnb has helped cities and states sustainably scale accommodations to realize a greater economic return from hosting big political events, including for the Democratic and Republican national conventions over the past two election cycles. Hosts welcomed nearly 8,000 total guests to the conventions in Charlotte, Tampa, Cleveland and Philadelphia, earning a collective $2.7 million.

Based on internal Airbnb data measuring current and future guest bookings and host earnings in Iowa and New Hampshire