Airbnb a huge boost to city’s economy, study says

Airbnb guests spent more at city businesses than average tourists, according to a new study. Credit: Airbnb
Airbnb guests spent more at city businesses than average tourists, according to a new study.
Credit: Airbnb

A new economic impact study by a team of urban planners has found that Airbnb, recently taken to court over its use in the city, is actually a huge boon for the city’s economy.

One of the major factors the study noted is that many Airbnb hosts live outside of Midtown Manhattan’s hotel district, enabling tourists to spend money in neighborhoods that wouldn’t otherwise benefit from tourism.

The tourists who use the short-term rental company also typically stay longer than those who stay in hotels, according to the study. And while the service enables tourism from people who may not be able to afford to stay in hotels, Airbnb guests apparently spend more at city businesses.

The company has recently been under scrutiny by officials, from the Department of Buildings to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who say they’re worried the service is being used to run illegal hotels.

But Airbnb has insisted — and the study attests — that almost 90 percent of their hosts are renting out the home they live in.

HR&A — the firm that carried out the study — was also careful to note the role the company played in helping the city in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Airbnb partnered with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide free or dramatically discounted shelter to New Yorkers displaced by the storm.

 

Airbnb by the numbers

All statistics from the HR&A Airbnb economic impact study, from Aug. 2012 to July 2013

Over the course of a year, Airbnb generated $632 million in economic activity in New York.

That same year, Airbnb users helped prop up 4,580 jobs throughout the five boroughs.

Airbnb guests were found to spend more at local businesses than average tourists. Airbnb guests spent $880, compared to $690 by average tourists.

More than half of all hosts are non-traditional workers — freelancers, part-timers, artists, students — who use the money they make from hosting to make ends meet.

Outer borough economic activity got a big boost: $104 million was generated outside Manhattan.

Airbnb guests paid $31 million in sales taxes to the city and state over the court of one year.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.