As the cost of living continues to rise, Kiwis are hosting on Airbnb as a way to keep on top of their household budgets, with new research providing insights into how that money is then spent, on top of other motivations for listing their property.
Guests are also discovering new places to travel because of Airbnb thanks to Categories which help them discover off-the-beaten track destinations that spreads the tourism dollar in more places. Since March 2020, five towns and suburbs hosted their first ever Airbnb booking, including Cass (Canterbury), Himatangi (Manawatu-Wanganui), Portobello (Otago), Taneatua (Bay of Plenty) and Woodlands (Southland), helping spread the economic benefits of hosting to more places – especially regional and remote ones – on top of giving guests accommodation options where there wasn’t any before.
According to the survey, in response to a question about why they host their space on Airbnb, approximately 40 percent of Kiwi Hosts said one of the reasons they host is to earn money to help cover the rising cost of living. Almost a third (30 percent) said they host to earn money to make ends meet; and 48 percent said they host to earn extra spending money.
Against the backdrop of higher prices for everyday goods and rising inflation, 45 percent of Hosts said they use the income earned through hosting to buy food and other necessities that have become more expensive.
Crucially, 32 percent of Hosts said that the income earned through hosting has helped them stay in their home in 2021.
Hosting also continues to provide a lifeline to those facing reduced employment, with almost a third of Hosts surveyed (27 percent) indicating that they or someone in their household took a pay cut or reduced hours, with 9 percent saying they had lost their job completely. 27 percent of Hosts in New Zealand consider hosting to be their primary occupation.
Beyond paying their mortgage, almost half of Hosts (44 percent) said they used the money earned through hosting to improve their homes – perhaps tackling that needed new roof or long-desired new kitchen. That’s also great news for tradies, businesses and the broader economy.
27 percent of Hosts said that they enlisted the services of a professional cleaner to help them maintain and manage their listing, providing a welcome jobs boost for their local community.
Hosts also indicated that they expect that income earned through hosting will become more important, with 17 percent saying they expect to become more reliant on Host income in the next year. More than a third of Kiwi Hosts surveyed (34 percent) are retired, and three-quarter (75 percent) of all Hosts surveyed are women.
It is vital to understand why Hosts take the decision to list their home, and the type of pressures they may be facing at a time of the rising cost of living, whether that is to make ends meet or just to help them remain in their own home – hosting is a vital lifeline.
The benefits of hosting aren’t solely for Hosts though, with many opting to do so to earn money to improve their home, which in turn supports jobs and services within their community, like local tradespeople and cleaners.
Guests are discovering new places to travel because of Airbnb, and in New Zealand, five towns and suburbs hosted their first ever Airbnb booking during the pandemic, helping spread the economic benefits of hosting to more places – especially regional and remote ones – on top of giving guests greater choice and affordability in accommodation.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager for New Zealand and Australia
Guests Discover New Places, Stay Longer on Airbnb
Guests are discovering new places to travel because of Airbnb, and Hosts are able to enjoy the benefits of hosting in new places for the first time. The pandemic has changed the way people travel, with millions of people now more flexible about where they live and work.
In a trend that began last year and has continued into Q1 2022, guests are staying longer — essentially living on Airbnb. Globally, long-term stays on Airbnb were at an all-time high in Q1 2022, more than doubling in size from Q1 2019, and continue to represent around one in every five nights booked. In addition, nearly half of nights booked on Airbnb in Q1 2022 were for one week or more.
As part of the major change unveiled in our 2022 May Release, we launched Airbnb Categories, a redesigned user interface that makes it easy for guests to discover millions of unique homes they never knew existed in places they may have never known to exist – helping to spread tourism outside of typical destinations.
We also launched Split Stays, an innovative feature that splits guests’ trips between two homes when they’re searching for a week or longer. With Split Stays, guests will typically see around 40 percent more listings when searching for longer stays.
48 percent of guests surveyed stated either they definitely or probably would not have visited the neighborhood in which they stayed if an Airbnb listing was not available.
1 Based on a survey of 1,155 Airbnb listings booked between June 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021 in New Zealand. All additional Host-centric survey data in this report originates from this survey.