Airbnb Community Boosts the UK Economy by £3.5 Billion in the Past Year

  • 8.4 million guests on Airbnb visiting the UK in the past year, generating £854 million for local British households
  • Wales, the East Midlands and the West Midlands lead the way as the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the UK
  • Local neighbourhoods attracting millions of guests seeking to ‘live like a local’


The Airbnb community boosted the UK economy by a massive £3.5 billion in the past year*, as Wales, the East Midlands and the West Midlands took the lead as the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the UK.

According to the 2018 Airbnb UK Insights Report, 2,600 villages, towns and cities across the country have welcomed 8.4 million guests between July 2017 and June 2018. From the mountains of Cairngorms to the churches of Norwich, Airbnb has helped spread the benefits of tourism out of the tourist hotspots to local neighbourhoods, towns and villages all over the country.

This generated £854 million in additional income for local households hosting on Airbnb, allowing Brits to top up their income while proudly showing off their part of the world to visitors from the UK and abroad. Acting as ambassadors for their local area, a typical UK host on the platform has earned £3,100 per year, just by hosting guests on average four nights a month.

Wales experienced the highest growth in inbound guest arrivals, increasing by a massive 81% compared to the previous year. From major sporting events in Cardiff to the picturesque coastal towns along Pembrokeshire, the country proved to be well-loved by British travellers in the past year.

It was also the most popular destination for families, with more than a fifth (21%) of guests on Airbnb arriving in Wales as part of a family. The hospitality of senior hosts on Airbnb also proved to be a favourite. In the past year, one in five guests chose to stay with Welsh hosts aged between 60-90 – the highest proportion compared to any other part of the UK.

Wales was closely followed by the East Midlands (80%) as the second fastest-growing tourism destination, a region that’s become well known for its close links to the Peak District and iconic national parks. The West Midlands, home to the vibrant city of Birmingham, wasn’t far behind, with inbound guest arrivals growing by 76% during the same period.

Given that so many travellers (78%) say they use Airbnb to help them ‘live like a local’, it’s no surprise that Airbnb has helped encourage tourism spending away from city centres to smaller neighbourhoods and businesses. Even domestic visitors wanted a home away from home, with 4.8 million Brits on Airbnb opting to turn to their own backyard for a ‘staycation’.

The passion visitors have for immersing themselves in local communities has led to the growing popularity of Experiences on Airbnb. Today, there are over 800 Experiences available across the UK, offering one-of-a-kind experiences, carefully designed and curated by local experts. From cooking classes and craft beer crawls, to art walks and eclectic music concerts, London is one of the top ten cities in the world for Experiences on Airbnb, where travellers can get a taste of the diverse cultures that make each and every borough unique.

In the past year, British travellers have loved turning to their own backyard to take a break, seeking out holiday destinations where they can uncover hidden gems and enjoy truly unique experiences. From Pembrokeshire to the Peak District, Airbnb helps spreads the benefits of tourism away from city centres to local towns, villages and communities, putting money back into the pockets of local residents and businesses.

Hadi Moussa, Airbnb General Manager for Northern Europe

To download the 2018 Airbnb UK Insights Report, visit here


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