Airbnb announced that over the course of 2016, 150,000 tourists visited the World’s Borough, allowing 3,000 Queens residents to earn a combined $27 million by acting as hosts to these tourists.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a San Francisco-based company that enables homeowners to rent their rooms to travelers. According to their data, Queens saw an 85 percent increase in year-over-year growth in guest arrivals to the borough and a 50 percent increase in host earnings.
The average Queens Airbnb host earns around $4,900 per year by sharing their home for three nights or fewer a month. The extra income has allowed hosts across New York to save money for retirement, pay off loans and even start their own small businesses.
“We are proud to see that more and more Queens residents are discovering home sharing as an opportunity to share their community with visitors from around the world, and earn a little bit of extra money along the way,” said Josh Meltzer, head of New York public policy at Airbnb. “From Socrates Park to the Unisphere, Airbnb hosts are ambassadors to the borough and we are grateful they have embraced home sharing as a way to welcome thousands of visitors.”
Airbnb had issues in New York City as recently last last year. It sued the City of New York over a law that imposed fines on homeowners offering short-term rentals on Airbnb and similar websites. The law was passed in 2010 as part of an effort to keep housing affordable. Airbnb and the city settled their differences late last year; according to The New York Times, Airbnb agreed to drop the suit provided that the city enforce the law against individual homeowners and not the company.
Airbnb’s next goal is to have the “Sharing for a Stronger New York” proposal to pass through Albany so the rights of hosts will be protected. The company’s plan includes various policy recommendations that protect the rights of New York homeowners while also cracking down on illegal hotel operators. Through enforcing its own policy, the company said it has removed 4,000 listings from the market.