Airbnb economist, Igor Popov, spoke to policy leaders about the impact of home sharing on Toronto

Airbnb economist, Igor Popov, came to Toronto to deliver a presentation at the Centre for Social Innovation on the data behind home sharing. He spoke to a full room of city builders, local policy leaders, community members and hosts about the impact that home sharing is having on communities around the world and in Toronto.

Vass Bednar of the Airbnb Canada policy team introduced Popov.

Popov  took the time to share key data about our community in Toronto including the important economic impact that hosting is having having on the city. The audience was particularly interested in the fact that Toronto had welcomed over 450,000 guests in 2016, who spent $417 million locally. Several comments and questions were raised regarding the impact Airbnb could have during events like Pride and Caribana, by providing elasticity to the accommodations market.

Popov walked through key data points about Airbnb in Canada.

Airbnb in Canada

Airbnb guests in Canada

Popov also took the time to step back and look more broadly at the opportunities Airbnb has provided to women around the globe. Women are 55 per cent of our host community and have earned over $10 billion (USD) since our founding in 2008 with a growth rate of 28x since 2012. This extra income can be especially powerful in countries with developing economies. We estimate that over 50,000 women around the world have used Airbnb income to support their own entrepreneurship.

Women hosts in Toronto

55% of hosts in Toronto are women

3% have used Airbnb income to start a new business

12% use Airbnb income while working part time

$5,156 Typical annual income

In addition to our women hosts, Popov took note of the fastest growing host demographic on Airbnb: seniors. When surveyed, 58% of older American hosts report that Airbnb income helped them stay in their homes. The average 60+ host in the U.S. earns $8,350 (USD) through hosting annually. Senior women get better reviews than any other group on Airbnb!

Popov closed his presentation with insights into ongoing academic studies that Airbnb is currently undertaking in partnership with the Stern School of Business and The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. The studies are examining the environmental impact of home sharing and looking at how we can match technologies with displaced populations such as refugees or victims of natural disasters.

Engaged attendees and data enthusiasts asked questions about the presentation.

The speech generated a buzz amongst attendees, with several people asking questions afterwards and staying onsite to pursue further discussions regarding the data. Get in touch with us at: [email protected] with your ideas.