Home sharing brings guests to communities of color

A new report from Airbnb finds that across seven major US metropolitan areas in the Northeast, South and Midwest, the percentage of Airbnb listings booked in communities of color consistently exceeds the percentage of hotel rooms.

The sites of the seven case studies include: Washington, DC; Orleans Parish (New Orleans); Baltimore City; Cook County (Chicago); New York City; Suffolk County (Boston); and Philadelphia County (Philadelphia). The analysis was conducted of majority non-white—i.e., “majority-minority”—block groups during the year ending October 1, 2016 using data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2014, Airbnb proprietary booking and listings data, and Smith Travel Research hotel data.

For all seven sites, the percentage of Airbnb listings booked during the year examined in communities of color is greater than the percentage of hotel rooms. The percentage of hotel rooms in majority-minority block groups ranges from 7 percent (Washington, DC) to 30 percent (Philadelphia). The percentage of Airbnb listings booked in majority-minority block groups ranges from 15 percent (Suffolk County) to 43 percent (Orleans Parish).

Highlights of the report will be presented by former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, an Airbnb advisor, at the African American Mayors Association 2016 Leadership Summit in Kansas City on December 16. “Airbnb is a particularly positive force for communities that have been underserved by traditional hospitality providers,” Nutter tells the group in a memo accompanying his appearance.

“Airbnb is a particularly positive force for communities that have been underserved by traditional hospitality providers”

Among other key findings of the study:

  • Across the seven metropolitan areas during the year examined, approximately 1 million guest arrivals occurred at Airbnb listings in majority-minority block groups.
  • The typical host earnings in majority-minority block groups ranges from $3,500 (Cook County) to $7,100 (Orleans Parish) annually from a listing.
  • The percentage of the population in majority-minority block groups ranges from 36% (Cook County) to 70% (Baltimore City).
  • In the nation’s capital, only 7 percent of hotel rooms are in majority-minority block groups, compared to 40 percent of Airbnb listings that were booked during the study period.

Read the full report here.