The $100 Billion Airbnb Host Economy

Spread across 220 countries and regions, hosts on Airbnb are the foundation of our community and our company. It is thanks to them that each listing is unique and the listings we offer on our platform are mostly unique to Airbnb. Hosts also provide guests with connection to the local community and locally owned businesses. And along with the satisfaction they derive from looking after their guests, hosts can earn extra money to help see them through financially difficult times. Since our co-founders Brian and Joe hosted our very first guests in their apartment on San Francisco’s Rausch Street 13 years ago, hosts have earned more than $100 billion through Airbnb.

Over the coming weeks, we will highlight hosts from across our global community and encourage more people to share their space on Airbnb. While the professional hosts on our platform – such as property managers, serviced apartment providers, and boutique hotels – provide great hospitality and more choices for guests, the vast majority of hosts on Airbnb are individuals who come from all walks of life and list their private rooms, primary homes or vacation homes directly through our website or app. 

According to a global survey from November 2019, hosts on Airbnb are teachers (10%) and healthcare workers (9%). They are in hospitality (7%), technology and retail (both 6%). They are also in financial services (6%) and construction (5%). They are artists (5%) and designers like Brian and Joe. About one in five are retirees.*

Historically, more than half of hosts on Airbnb have been women, including 55 percent of all hosts in the midst of a pandemic recession that threatens to set back women more than men. We have worked around the world with civic and labor organizations ranging from the World Bank, to the NAACP in the US, to the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, to rural community groups in South Africa, China and Japan to ensure that underrepresented populations have access to our platform and the economic opportunities it provides.

Our host community also includes young people who are facing particular financial risk during this downturn as entry-level jobs disappear. According to our own recent survey of US hosts, a higher percentage of younger hosts (age 18-24) have lost their jobs or have been laid off than hosts in older age brackets.**

Helping to keep guests safe

Hosts are also dedicated to helping to keep their guests safe during the pandemic. Nearly 1.5 million hosts have opted into Airbnb’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, developed in consultation with the former US Surgeon General. Among the types of recommendations US hosts have made to their guests during the pandemic, according to our recent host survey, outdoor sites and activities ranked #2 (68%), only after restaurants/cafes at number one (73%). More than 80 percent of hosts accept longer-term stays of 28 days or longer.

And the pandemic hasn’t deterred new hosts: Between March 11, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and early August 2020, more than 200,000 new hosts welcomed their first guests through Airbnb. 

As new travel preferences and patterns continue to take hold with consumers, we are committed to keep supporting our hosts through investments in the art and science of hosting.

*Global survey of 78,900 Airbnb Homes hosts, conducted November-December 2019.

**Survey of 2,600 US hosts with at least one active listing and one booking in the past 12 months, conducted September 16-24, 2020.