Airbnb and D.C.’s East of the River communities

The District of Columbia, home to dozens of unique neighborhoods, is also one of the country’s top destinations for tourism, historical sightseeing and major cultural events. Airbnb makes it possible for visitors from around the world to experience the nation’s capital as Washingtonians do — by staying local.

Of the over 130 hotels operating across D.C., zero of these properties are located east of the Anacostia River in Ward 7 or Ward 8. In comparison to other parts of the District, areas east of the Anacostia River have historically experienced limited opportunities to attract tourists. As a result of home sharing, these culturally diverse communities — which do not typically benefit from traditional tourism dollars because of the lack of hotels  — are now experiencing more visitors and seeing an important economic lift.

“We’ve really built a community here. If my spare rooms are booked, I can always recommend other hosts on my block to prospective guests. And being able to do this in Anacostia gives us as chance as Washingtonians to showcase and share with others an area of the District we truly love.” 

Levita Mondie, Teacher and Airbnb Host in Anacostia Since 2009

Airbnb income that is generated east of the Anacostia River positively impacts everyone from the local shop owner to long-time and native Washingtonians. District of Columbia residents earned nearly $84 million in 2017 sharing their homes via Airbnb and over $50 million in guest spending occurred at D.C. restaurants between September 2015 and October 2016.

The following report explores the positive impact Airbnb is also having on families and small businesses in Anacostia, Congress Heights, Lincoln Heights and other neighboring areas.

Key findings from this report include:

  • GUEST ARRIVALS:  Between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, guests arrivals to these communities grew 65 percent from the previous 12 months and totaled nearly 29,300 guest arrivals.
  • HOST INCOME:  During this time, hosts in Wards 7 and 8 earned a total of $3.75 million in supplemental  income an increase of 58% from a year ago and with the typical host earning $4,712.
  • SPENDING AT SMALL BUSINESSES:  Over these 12 months, Airbnb guests in these neighborhoods spent over $8.6 million during their stay at D.C. cafes, restaurants and retail shops.
  • VISITING FAMILIES:  Families represented 14% of the total guest arrivals and totaled over 3,990an increase of 333% from last year.
  • TOP NEIGHBORHOODS:  Anacostia, Buena Vista and Shipley Terrace are the neighborhoods with the highest number of guest arrivals.

“I have really loved Airbnb. It’s saved my life from a financial point. And it allows me to do the things I want to do for myself and my daughters. Hosting and southern hospitality is who I am. It’s in my roots and feeds into everything I teach my students, daughters and community.”

Levita Mondie, Teacher and Airbnb Host in Anacostia Since 2009

Methodology

The data used in this report about the Airbnb platform — specifically guest arrivals, guest city of origin, and host earnings — are all based on Airbnb internal data for the District of Columbia, and communities located east of the Anacostia River between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.

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