Chicago’s global status has been on the rise for decades, manifesting itself in record visitors to the city and tourism year after year. In the past,of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods, only one fully benefited from the increase in visitation, The Loop, Chicago’s downtown district and home to most of the city’s hotels. Airbnb has changed that.
The other 76 neighborhoods are finally getting in on the game. 94% of Airbnb listings in Chicago are outside of The Loop, in a diverse array of neighborhoods like Rogers Park, Chatham, Austin and more.
In 2017, Airbnb’s Chicago host community earned a combined $77 million in supplemental income through the Airbnb platform while welcoming about 500,000 guests to the city. This economic activity comes during a time of continued growth among Chicago’s hotel industry, suggesting that Airbnb hosts in Chicago may be opening up the city to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods on the South Side or West Side that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.
When guests travels through Airbnb to a neighborhood in Chicago that lacks hotels, there’s a trickle down effect for the nearby merchant community. Airbnb guests to Chicago spend $171 a day at neighborhood small businesses, with hosts guiding them towards their favorite restaurants, cafes, shops and more. This is what democratizing revenue is all about.