Airbnb releases Illinois university economic impact report

Airbnb recently released data indicating the meaningful economic impact of home sharing during major college commencement ceremonies throughout Illinois.

For graduation weekends throughout the state, local Airbnb host communities are expanding lodging capacity and offering affordable rates for visiting families and loved ones. With hotels often selling out due to the influx of college parents, commencement ceremonies have long been known as sources of an unfortunate degree of hotel price gouging, which the rise of home sharing has helped alleviate.

Hotel price gouging has been a particular issue in the Champaign-Urbana region during U of I’s commencement. Additionally, hotels made available to University of Chicago families during the June Convocation are all 5-8 miles away from Hyde Park at rates no less than $209 a night, whereas the home sharing community allows parents to stay within walking distance of the university and their children, at considerably more affordable rates.

For communities like Evanston, Champaign/Urbana, Wheaton and Peoria, the local college commencements will (or already have) usher in the largest influx of guests to their respective cities in the history of Airbnb’s platform.

“By expanding lodging capacity and helping to welcome additional guests during these major events, home sharing facilitates significant economic activity for communities with large universities,” said Will Burns, Airbnb Illinois policy director. “Most of us can relate to having to book hotels 1-2 years in advance of college graduations. We’re very encouraged to see our platform utilized to provide affordable lodging accommodations for college families and support Illinois’ middle-class host community.”

In Evanston, home to Northwestern University, Airbnb and the city recently announced an agreement authorizing the platform to collect the Evanston Hotel/Motel Tax on behalf of its hosts and remit the revenue to the city. Airbnb also collects the Illinois hotel tax on all Airbnb bookings, remitting the revenue directly to the state.

The commencement data can be found in full below. Please note that due to the market size of Chicago, data is inclusive only for the neighborhoods of the respective universities rather than the entire city.

Northwestern University (Evanston)

  • Commencement Dates: June 22
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 340 (projection) — this will represent the largest influx of guests to Evanston in the history of Airbnb’s platform
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 125%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $55,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $311

University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana

  • Commencement Dates: May 11-14
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 590 —  this represented the largest influx of guests to both Champaign and Urbana in the history of Airbnb’s platform
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 172%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $77,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $407

Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)

  • Commencement Dates: May 12
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 100
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 113%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $9,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $230

University of Illinois – Springfield

  • Commencement Dates: May 12
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 70
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 32%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $5,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $218

Wheaton College

  • Commencement Dates: May 5-6
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 45 —  this represented the largest influx of guests to Wheaton in the history of Airbnb’s platform
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 73%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $5,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $348

Bradley University (Peoria)

  • Commencement Dates: May 12
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 90 —  this represented the largest influx of guests to Peoria in the history of Airbnb’s platform
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 64%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $5,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $213

University of Illinois Chicago

(Chicago – specifically the University Village neighborhood)

  • Commencement Dates: May 9-14
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 430
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 15%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $55,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $743

University of Chicago

(Chicago — specifically the Hyde Park neighborhood)

  • Commencement Dates: June 9
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 515 — projection
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 30%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $50,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $256

Loyola University

(Chicago — specifically the Rogers Park neighborhood)

  • Commencement Dates: May 8-12
  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 630
  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 48%
  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $63,000
  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $366
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