Growth in guest arrivals surges across entrepreneurial US Midwest

A series of reports on year-over-year Airbnb activity across 11 states in the American Midwest paints a picture of a region of entrepreneurs living not just in big cities but in smaller towns where the economic benefits of home sharing can be even more pronounced. In many of these states, college and university towns ranked alongside major cities for guest arrivals: South Bend and Bloomington, Indiana ranked second and third after Indianapolis; Lawrence ranked number-one in Kansas; Ann Arbor ranked second after Detroit in Michigan; Champaign and Urbana after Chicago in Illinois, and so on. In Ohio, Ohio State University’s home of Columbus beat Cleveland for number of guest arrivals despite Cleveland hosting the Republican National Convention and its share of the NBA Finals and World Series. In nine of the 10 states studied for their activity in 2015 and 2016, year-over-year growth in guest arrivals far exceeded 100 percent, with growth in a handful of the states approaching 200 percent:

  • Nebraska’s 20,000 guest arrivals in 2016 represents 120 percent year-over-year growth from 2015.
  • Minnesota’s 93,000 guest arrivals in 2016 represents 132 percent year-over-year growth. Airbnb’s Minnesota host community doubled in size to 2,600 people. During the Ryder Cup, Airbnb helped Hennepin, Ramsey, Carver and Scott counties host 3,500 guest arrivals, and we look forward to partnering with the Twin Cities to help them expand lodging capacity once again for the upcoming 2018 Super Bowl.
  • Michigan’s 188,000 guest arrivals last year represent 136 percent year-over-year growth. The 4,100 Airbnb hosts throughout the state represent 78 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Wisconsin’s 105,000 guest arrivals represent what the Milwaukee Business Journal calls “significant” 164 percent year-over-year growth, and Airbnb’s Wisconsin host community has grown 73 percent to 2,600 people.
  • Local media note that Missouri’s 124,000 guest arrivals represent “massive” 166 percent year-over-year growth, and Airbnb’s Missouri host community doubled in size to 2,100 people.
  • Ohio’s 130,000 guest arrivals represented 173 percent year-over-year growth and Airbnb’s Ohio host community more than doubled in size, growing 129 percent to 4,300 people. The incredible growth is a byproduct of the major home sharing developments to occur in the state in 2016: mainly an agreement with the City of Cleveland that substantially expanded lodging capacity for the NBA Finals, World Series and Republican National Convention, as Crain’s Cleveland notes, and that allows Airbnb to collect and remit lodging taxes on behalf of our hosts.
  • Indiana’s 83,000 guest arrivals represent 174 percent year-over-year growth from 2015, and Airbnb’s Indiana host community more than doubled in size to 2,500 people. (See a handy local media guide to Airbnb here.)
  • Airbnb is taking off in Kansas,” says the Wichita Business Journal, with 20,000 guest arrivals representing 175 percent year-over-year growth, and Airbnb’s Kansas host community doubling in size to 600 people. While Lawrence ranked number-one in guest arrivals for cities and towns in Kansas at 4,600, next-door Kansas City had 38,000.
  • Iowa’s 28,000 guest arrivals represent 188 percent year-over-year growth, and Airbnb’s Iowa host community nearly doubled in size to 700 people in 2016.

Meanwhile, Illinois’ 437,000 guest arrivals represent 69 percent year-over-year growth. There are now 8,100 Airbnb hosts throughout Illinois, representing 40 percent year-over-year growth. Chicago has been the primary driver of growth, specifically the 95 percent of Airbnb listings in Chicago that are located outside of the downtown hotel district, creating an economic engine for areas of the South Side and West Side that lack hotels. Read the full reports here: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.