As we mark International Women’s Day this week, it has never been more important to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe. Over the past two years, even as women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, many have identified new economic opportunities to support their families, pursue lifelong passions and achieve success.
That entrepreneurial spirit is on display every day in our community of women Hosts, who now make up 56 percent of our global Host community, and an even higher proportion in the US (59 percent), Japan (59 percent) and South Africa (65 percent). Women are also embracing hosting at a higher rate than men, with 21 percent more women joining the platform than men in 2021. New women Hosts earned approximately $1.1 billion on the platform in 2021, including approximately $550 million in the US.
With global earnings of over $12 billion in 2021, women are not only home sharing pioneers but also masters of hospitality, with responsive and clear communication, an emphasis on cleanliness and incredible overall experiences. In fact, in 2021, women Hosts received a higher share of 5-star reviews (91%) than their male counterparts (89%).
To honor this year-round excellence, today we are highlighting 20 women Hosts who are among the most highly rated, greatest Hosts from countries around the world. To find these stellar Hosts, we identified women who had the highest share of 5-star ratings in their nation. Incredibly, since so many women have 100-percent 5-star ratings, the tiebreaker went to whomever had the greatest number of reviews.
- The average rating of identified Hosts in the countries below is 4.99
- 90 percent of the Hosts maintain perfect 5-star ratings
- The Hosts have more than 3,500 reviews between them
United States: Melissa of Portland, Oregon
“I started hosting because I was a stay-at-home mom and it offered the perfect opportunity flexibility wise – I could set my own schedule! I was able to expose my kids to new and interesting people and made lasting connections with many guests. I try to support women-owned businesses and offer local Portland goods to our guests (Moonstruck chocolate, Portland Roasting Company coffee, Stash tea, etc) and decorate with art and wares by local artists. I added the resources in my guestbook so my guests can also support these businesses.”
Canada: Jackie of Cochrane, Alberta
“The income from my bed & breakfast is actually a large part of my livelihood as a whole. I don’t treat the hosting as a “side hustle” because this space and experience was custom-created to be a meaningful part of my work. The fact that I can provide a special space for others and a creative outlet for myself (creating thoughtful, seasonal breakfasts) while earning an income means I’ve got a pretty good work-life balance and I feel really lucky!
For other women who are considering hosting I would say: really invest yourself in this. If it’s an afterthought just for the extra cash, it’s likely to be more stressful and less rewarding. Make the experience you give guests something you’d be jazzed about if you were traveling or looking for a getaway, and align it with what you’d like to be putting out into the world in general (sustainability, beauty, adventurousness…?). Keep it authentic! I think being there to greet your guests in-person is important, too, to build a little rapport and get a sense of their needs.”
Argentina: María of Buenos Aires
“My best advice [to women considering hosting] is to make the decision to publish your property and do it, you will not regret it. In addition to the income it will generate, they will be able to learn from the world of temporary rentals. It is very rewarding when you rent to a guest and you manage to offer them, in addition to a place to stay, a service that meets their needs. That is what you learn when hosting, each guest is unique and you learn to get to know them and offer them a totally personalized service.”
“We signed up to Airbnb for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, knowing there would be an influx of visitors to the region. We thought it would be a wonderful time to host as we love meeting new people and also financially capitalize on this momentous occasion. Since then, we haven’t looked back and have loved being regular Airbnb Hosts over the past few years.”
I was quite impressed with myself when I found out I was the highest rated female Host in Australia. My five-star rating is something I am very proud of. For other women looking to host, I would highly recommend it. The additional income has been a great source of support – particularly during the pandemic but also unlocked other opportunities like retiring a little earlier than what was initially planned and I was even able to purchase a new car.”
Austria: Tanya of Maurach, Tirol, Austria
“The income I receive from hosting is my main income stream, so it is very important. It helps to pay off our home loan, enjoy holidays and general living costs.
The advice I can give other women considering hosting as a main income source or a secondary income source, is that working with Airbnb is very easy and you have great support from them. They respond very quickly if a problem arises or you need advice. You have flexibility [in] how you want to operate your business and it is so enjoyable meeting new people from all over the world.”
“My place also features a garden and a mushroom plantation, which is the main livelihood of my family. With the pandemic, the financial return from agriculture fell by half and, today, Airbnb income is an important economic pillar for us.”
“We decided to host at Airbnb when my mother and I began to have financial problems, which caused difficulties to maintain the house in which we had lived for almost thirty years. When we found Airbnb to be an attractive option to generate additional income while meeting new people…seven years later I never would have thought I would be recognized as one of the best Hosts in Columbia.”
Costa Rica: Kely of San Carlos, Alajuela, Costa Rica
“The money I earn through hosting has helped to support my family in the most difficult times, including during the pandemic when my career in tourism was severely impacted.
I encourage women who dream of becoming a Host on Airbnb to go after it. My mantra is to always do things with humility, faith, honesty, and consistency. And there are no limits for a dreamer. If someone says you can’t, it’s time to think you can because no one has the power to take away your dreams if you are willing to fight for them.”
“The additional income is great because you can put it back into the listing for additional furnishings and renovations but my greatest joy comes from the great people, across all age groups who rent it, and always leave it in top condition.
My advice to women considering hosting is to not be afraid to decorate with beautiful or valuable things, the guest will appreciate it.”
India: Cheryl of Goa, India
“The pandemic opened up new avenues for me – the thought of not being able to travel helped me channel that energy into starting an Airbnb. My travels and stays in Airbnb’s helped me incorporate my own experiences into lovely homes for weary travelers. Setting up an Airbnb was always plan B but I feel so fulfilled by it that it’s my Plan A and there’s no looking back.”
Italy: Giovanna of Venice, Italy
“The commitment to restructuring and the passion for hospitality have been our mantras. And this is what I recommend to all women who want to take this path: with passion on their side, they must not be stopped by insecurities, but instead believe in their own abilities. We have many tools available thanks to the internet to help us out. If I think of our first guests – who arrived while we were still arranging last details – I recognize how far we got thanks to dedication and study. You need to try and dare, and to prepare yourself properly.”
“It’s been three years since I started hosting, and I’ve had a lot of encounters and it’s been a very fulfilling life. I want to continue as much as I can.”
South Korea: Seyurang Cho of Jeju-si, Jeju Province, South Korea
“The additional income from hosting gave me more economic freedom. Raising three kids, additional income was necessary. However I couldn’t start working as I didn’t find a place to take care of my children – through hosting I found the right balance between raising a family and working.”
Malaysia: Anis of Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
“The additional income has allowed us to able to enjoy our leisure pursuits and to acquire a second property for hosting. It has also made us more aware of people who need help in our community, particularly single mothers and children who need financial assistance with their education and to this, we started to offer breakfast for charity some years back. The donations we collected from guests are channeled to the local charity club which are focused on helping on the education side, the food banks and some direct help to those in need.”
“With the pandemic, I lost my job, and then Airbnb became my principal source of income, and now I live entirely from my earnings on Airbnb. I suggest other women not to be afraid because, with Airbnb, they can get to know wonderful people. It is not only the income that you could earn on Airbnb, but it is the world that opens in front of you.”
New Zealand: Tanya of Lake Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
“We started hosting on Airbnb in 2017 as we realized we could look after the management of our studio ourselves once our kids finished at school. It’s been wonderful to host and meet people from all over the world. Five years on, we haven’t looked back and have loved being regular Airbnb Hosts over the past few years,” Tanya says.
“For other women looking to host, I would say definitely give it a go. It provides you with the freedom to tailor experiences based on what you value most in hospitality and personalize it for each guest. My advice would be to treat people how you want to be treated as a guest and as a result, you’ll create an experience they’ll always remember.”
Philippines: Emily of Tanay, Calabarzon, Philippines
“I was working in the corporate space and retired early so that I could focus more on my children and husband. But I missed having my own personal income and wanted to help the family with expenses. While I was homeschooling my kids, I wished there was something I could do that would allow me to still be with my children and yet still do something for myself. I love that I now can host and respond to my guests from anywhere, even when I’m at the grocery store or with my kids – you don’t have to sacrifice family time.
Today we employ locals in the mountains to help us run both listings, most of them are mothers who cannot work full time because they take care of their children. ”
Puerto Rico: Maria of Dorado, Puerto Rico
“My advice to other women who want to become Hosts on Airbnb is to research and prepare before starting. This type of business does not run on autopilot – it requires time and attention, and it’s not always easy. Hosts must be ever-present to supervise every detail to ensure the business runs as it should. However, I find the business fulfilling and when the job is done well, the level of satisfaction is enormous.”
South Africa: Francy of Sir Lowry’s Pass, Western Cape, South Africa
“For anyone considering hosting my advice would be to be prepared to spend some money on enhancing the space to make it as characterful and comfortable as possible for guests. Small details matter, and personal attention and involvement is essential. The most rewarding [thing] is meeting and interacting with both local and international guests.”
“My desire to start hosting was to earn income but I stayed hosting because of how much fun I was having. If you decide to start hosting please be yourself while hosting, guests will appreciate the authenticity. I am able to make friends from all over the world and be myself. If you already have a place and you’re considering hosting, just do it. However, if you’re looking for investment opportunities be sure you throw yourself into this 100%.”