Louisville leads as top trending summer spot before Kentucky Derby weekend

Key Takeaways

  • Hosts in Louisville are preparing to welcome thousands of guests and earn big as the historic Kentucky Derby returns.
  • Louisville and Lexington are within the top three trending US destinations this summer.
  • Fans that are booking last minute travel can still find affordable listings that offer great value for their money.

Key Takeaways

  • Hosts in Louisville are preparing to welcome thousands of guests and earn big as the historic Kentucky Derby returns.
  • Louisville and Lexington are within the top three trending US destinations this summer.
  • Fans that are booking last minute travel can still find affordable listings that offer great value for their money.

Louisville, Kentucky is racing ahead as the top trending domestic destination by popularity for US guests this summer, and the upcoming Kentucky Derby is a significant driving force behind this surge in search1. As one of the most iconic sporting events in the country, the Kentucky Derby draws thousands of spectators and also showcases Louisville’s rich culture and hospitality. With the Run for the Roses kicking off this weekend, our Host community in Louisville is preparing to open its doors and provide unique, affordable accommodations for thousands of racing enthusiasts. 

Local residents can benefit from hosting

In 2022, Hosts in Louisville collectively earned nearly $3 million during the Kentucky Derby weekend, with the typical Host earning over $2,0002. This demonstrates the tremendous economic opportunity for local residents to share their homes and earn supplemental income, while also offering visitors a truly authentic Louisville experience. 

The spotlight on Louisville during events like the Kentucky Derby contributes to its growing popularity as a must-visit destination. This increased interest not only benefits local Hosts but also has a positive ripple effect on the city’s economy, as guests explore Louisville’s vibrant neighborhoods, restaurants, and attractions.

Airbnb’s commitment to Kentucky 

Airbnb has long been committed to delivering economic benefits to the communities we serve, and Louisville-Jefferson County is no exception. Big events like the Kentucky Derby generate meaningful tax income for the local community. Since 2017, Airbnb has collected and remitted over $8.4 million in county taxes on behalf of our Hosts and guests in the area, contributing valuable revenue for local programs3. And last year, Airbnb remitted over $13.7 million in state and local tourism taxes to Kentucky, nearly a $7.6 million increase from pre-pandemic travel in 2019.

Our community of Airbnb Hosts in Louisville is key to providing unique, affordable accommodations for thousands of racing enthusiasts.Approximately 58% of Hosts who self-report their gender are women, and about 14 percent of Hosts self-report they are over the age of 60. More than 80 percent of Hosts share just one entire home listing, and the typical  Host shares their home occasionally – about 70 nights per year – while entire home listings on Airbnb represent approximately one percent of housing stock.

Affordable options for guests galloping into town 

Despite the high demand for the upcoming weekend festivities, affordable Airbnb listings are still available for last-minute bookings in Louisville. Guests can choose from a wide range of options – from private rooms to entire homes – ensuring a memorable stay during this world-renowned event for $500 and under4

Safety tips for travelers this year 

Malicious scams are even more common during major events, where consumers are hunting for affordable deals. Third-party scams include bad actors attempting to entice travelers to book on third-party websites that are unrelated to Airbnb. Guests can avoid falling prey to these scams by communicating and paying on our trusted platform. When looking for listings, travelers should always start directly on Airbnb.com or the Airbnb app. 

If anyone believes they’ve encountered a web page designed to look like Airbnb, they can let us know by reporting the website’s URL at our phishing reporting site. If a traveler is unsure whether they booked their reservation through Airbnb, they can check that with us, and report any message that indicates a potential scam.

In addition to this important information to help travelers protect themselves against scams, Airbnb is offering the following guidance to all guests searching for or with a reservation in Louisville-Jefferson County: 

  • Search and book with confidence: Guests can get exactly what they’re looking for by taking advantage of our many search filters, such as price, home type, and amenities. They should be sure to read the Host’s profile and listing description thoroughly — paying special attention to the amenities, house rules or trip requirements, and the cancellation policy.
  • Read the ratings and reviews: Guests can look through feedback from past guests to help find the right fit for them. They’ll see ratings on several quality dimensions, like cleanliness and accuracy, and detailed reviews with authentic feedback about the experience. Guests can only leave a review after they’ve stayed with that specific Host, so they know the feedback they’re seeing is based on actual experiences.
  • Get questions answered: Our secure messaging tool is an easy way to ask a potential Host any questions about their home or experience before booking. After booking, guests can also message their Hosts to coordinate check-in and stay in touch throughout their trip — something that will be particularly important in the area as guests fans descend on the city for the race. 
  • Do a safety check: Once guests arrive at the home, they should make sure to know where all relevant emergency equipment and safety information is located. If it’s not clear where to find something like the first aid kit, fire extinguisher or a CO/ smoke alarm, guests should not hesitate to ask their Host. It’s always better to be prepared.
  • Respect neighbors: Guests booking an Airbnb listing are not just entering that home — they’re joining a community. Whether they’re on vacation at a single-family home or a condo, guests will be surrounded by neighbors who will be maintaining normal work schedules and may have young kids. It’s important to be mindful of noise and respectful of their spaces.
  • If anything isn’t right, reach out: If a guest arrives at a home and something’s not quite right, they should reach out to us and our Airbnb Safety Team members, who are trained to support our Hosts and guests in the rare instance of a safety issue. And Airbnb booking guests always have access to our AirCover protections, free to all guests and covering every booking made on our platform.

Lastly, for those still seeking accommodations in Louisville, visit airbnb.com to explore a variety of unique and affordable options. Join us in celebrating the Kentucky Derby and supporting the local Hosts who make these memorable experiences possible.

  1. Based on increase in searches of destinations (minimum 50,000) in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022.
  2.  Typical Host earnings amount represents the median amount of earnings for Louisville Hosts in 2022.
  3.   From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2022. 
  4.  All bookings included in this press release are intended to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not endorse or promote these listings or any other accommodations or experiences on the platform.